One sure way to cut through the noise and reach out to increasingly savvy customers is to amplify your authentic brand differences. They need to know more than what you do; they are actively looking for signals as to why you do it and why it should matter to them.
Getting under the skin
Taking time to evaluate and understand your brand’s DNA is the only way to find your authentic voice. You need to go way beyond features and benefits. You need to pinpoint your unique traits and decipher your added value. What is your purpose? What drives it forward? Get under the skin of your organisation to tease out the hidden gems.
It may start out as words – asking probing questions across your organisation will provide a multitude of answers, this is a good way to begin. By capturing this breadth of opinions and perspectives, the trends will become obvious and your authentic differentiators will start to reveal themselves. From here you need more, though. True authenticity comes from structure and culture, it comes from what’s real and it will need to be proactively demonstrated. It’s a matter of showing, not telling.
This is the point where many Marketing Managers I speak to hit a dead end. The organisation’s truths have been discovered but the action points to communicate them never see the light of day. The business of business can be complex and the process of communicating your authentic differences is not simple. Too often Marketing Managers find their leadership team wants to stick to what is familiar and not take a measured risk with new material.
The problem is two-fold. A brand’s DNA needs to be realised as a team effort. It’s not a solo mission. But on the flipside, everyone then becomes a marketer and has their own subjective ideas about how to take it forward. Opinions inevitably differ and too many ideas can dilute and create complexity, not clarity.
One way to overcome this is by being clear from the start. It can only work if it unites everyone and is viewed as a marketing objective, not just a business objective. Everyone’s voice must be heard but the marketing team has to drive it forward with a clear plan throughout. In essence, it becomes an internal campaign to unify the organisation. The value it will add must be communicated from the start, along with the necessary actions through each part of the process.
Marketing strategy is not an exact science. There is never a guarantee of success and this can breed hesitance. However, in my opinion, the only way to bring an organisation together around an authentic brand experience is to ensure everyone is on the same page and singing in tune. If there is doubt about the belief in the outcome, then chances are it won’t work. The Marketing Manager may drive the project forward, but it is the leadership’s role to act as the brand’s greatest ambassadors and foster belief throughout the organisation.
Believe in your brand’s DNA and customers can believe in it too.