Top Tips To Help Your Brand Rock in 2011The role of brands is changing. The human brain is a masterful excluder of irrelevant information, making us excellent selective listeners. For brands, this tends to make it rather challenging to get people to pay attention to what we have to say.
Interestingly, we are seeing brands sneaking past the gate keeper in our brains by moving into the role of entertainer. Some brands choose to push digital frontiers using technology to entertain, for example apps or 3D projection mapping, while others are evolving the more traditional methods, producing branded content or hosting events.
It’s those brands pushing boundaries and generally being interesting that become the rock stars of the business world; adored by the masses and envied by the competition.
But what do you do if you don’t have a rock star marketing budget? Fret not. It’s still possible to become a rock brand, complete with cult following even if you’re not Virgin or Coca-Cola. All you need to do is act like a rock star.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled our top tips to kick start your marketing resolutions and help your brand rock on in 2011.
1. Be Unique
To become a rock star, your brand must find its edge.
Articulate exactly what is it that makes your brand different and interesting. Once you discover that quirk or spark of originality that no one else has, run with it. No matter what industry you’re in or who your audience is, even if you’re the most convincing covers band, you’ll never make it to the big time playing someone else’s songs.
Find your point of difference or unique proposition that sets you apart from your competitors. Embrace it. Own it.
2. Be True To Your Sound
A great rock band has a distinctive sound. Sometimes their sound might evolve and mature over time but their sound remains unique to them.
To determine the sound or voice of your brand, look to your brand personality. Who is your brand and what does it stand for? There shouldn’t be any ambiguity amongst staff throughout your business on this point, but particularly amongst those who directly represent your brand to customers and the wider community.
When developing and refining your brand personality, consider your business in terms of human personality traits. This will help you to develop a consistent voice including language style and tone that can be used by staff and translated into all corporate communications, ultimately making it easy for your customers and prospects to understand and relate to your brand.
3. Be Outrageous
While it’s probably best not to trash hotel rooms or smash instruments (unless it’s relevant, of course), the most popular stars are usually the most controversial.
Being truly outrageous might not be a part of your brand personality. That’s okay. You’ll need to decide on the appropriate level of outrageousness for your brand. For many brands being outrageous could just mean being unexpected or spontaneous. In brand speak this could translate to hosting an impromptu event for your twitter followers, or giving a small gift to your customers just to say thanks for being great.
For the more adventurous brands you could try bold public installations, guerrilla stunts or making audacious comments on staff apparel (a la Nandos). Go on, live a little.
4. Be Socially Aware
There comes a time in the career of almost every rock star, when they will choose to advocate for a charitable organisation or cause. Whether you’re a small business or large organisation, committing to socially responsible business practices very clearly shows that you support your community. Demonstrating that your business cares for more than profit helps to build consumer trust and respect for your brand.
As with many things in life, actions speak louder than words. Donating money is great, but committing to action can be a stronger signal. But whether it’s pledging a percentage of sales, giving your employees paid volunteer days, or committing to recycling or sustainable packaging, every little bit counts.