A recent post by Chad Northrup at Chatterbox about LinkedIn being the “No Fun Social Network” recently got me thinking about many of the companies I have worked with that are clinging to the old school methodology of marketing by constantly staying on message and not seeing what is going on right now in the online world.
Years ago, staying on message was how you branded your business. So whether someone saw your newspaper ad, brochure, radio ad, TV spot, etc. it all had the same look, feel and message. Recognition through replication.
Now however things are changing. Branding through certain visual markers like colors, fonts, logo, etc. is still equally important but the message is different because people online want to engage and interact with your brand. They don’t want to get your mission statement delivered to them, they want to know about what interesting projects you are working on or how your product is going to help them personally. You need to have a conversation with your potential audience not deliver a soliloquy.
Given this seismic shift, you also need to change how you brand yourself and your business because the people behind the brand are taking center stage now. Your voice is now equally as important to your branding as your logo. Don’t handcuff your employee brand advocates – let your companies personalities shine!
Another pitfall companies fall into is being bland. I can’t tell you how many businesses I have met with and all they want to do is plug their same boring sales message into video format. Why? Do something wildly creative! Solve one of your most frequently asked questions or problems in a creative story. In every blog post, in every video or podcast you create there’s got to be emotion or opinion to trigger an action of some kind. Make interesting content that people want to read/view and if it’s REALLY interesting share with their network. No one is going to share your mission statement unless maybe you make it into a rap or something entertaining.
Creative thinking and authentic engagement will be what makes some brands more noticeable in the coming years…not how much money they dumped into traditional advertising. Small companies like Blendtec will be the household names of tomorrow because they are creating online content that people like to consume and be entertained by.
What about you? What do you think the future holds for branding?