Turn Digital Chaos Into Brand Equity
Explosion of Media Channels
Media channels -- paid and otherwise -- are increasing exponentially. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are only the beginning. Every day brings new options. Consumers' ability to access these new channels, engage with other consumers, and talk back to companies has radically changed how marketing organizations need to behave. And it's going to get worse before it gets better.
6 Steps for Turning Digital Chaos into Brand Equity
Here are six steps you can take to ensure your brand effectively engages consumers with your brand promise.
1. Be Different, Special and Better Let's start with a basic truth. Your brand equity is what consumers think it is -- not what you think it is. Unfortunately, too many brands have brand equities that are identical to competitors'. So, the starting point is to have a brand promise, and delivery of it, that is truly differentiated.
2. Know Your Target's Media Habits People consume media content differently. Know your target's media habits -- traditional and new, and don't be seduced by the latest media innovation if your target isn't participating. Map their usage. Then, listen to the communities that are conversing about your brand, understand their priorities and beliefs, and identify respected opinion leaders.
3. Measure Marketing Contact Point Impact Understand not just what your target is doing, but the impact of different contact points. Quantifying the relative impact of contact points provides a data-based framework for deciding where to focus your limited resources. As part of this, it's critical to identify your category's "amplifiers," the ones who drive it.
4. Equip Your Organization to Deliver the Brand Promise Map organizational ownership to the key contact points. Many "old line" functions are being impacted by new media -- e.g., PR, Customer Service, etc. Ensure that they really understand your brand promise and how to deliver it.
5. Organize your Team to Engage Key Media Channels / Amplifiers Establish teams to engage with consumers across your most important digital channels. Equip them with the skills to publish, respond, and engage with target consumers and amplifiers.
6. Create Value-Added Content Consumers want more from brands than just a restatement of the brand promise. They want relevant and creative content that surrounds and supports it. Sometimes, they even want to create it. Understand what kind of content your consumer wants, whether and how they can contribute, and how it can reinforce your brand promise.
Engaging your target audience over time in an intelligent dialogue that drives your brand promise is key:
- Lead with your brand promise in new and creative ways. Engage with consumers to interpret it based on their values and needs.
- Give consumers a voice about your brand promise by enabling feedback, comments and user generated content.
- Guide consumers back to your brand promise, even when they have a negative point of view. Ask "how could we do better?"
- Use value-added content that surrounds and supports your brand promise to make it easier to engage consumers.
The key point is this: Focus your limited resources. Focus on the most impactful, highest consumption media channels. Focus on building relevant, value-added content to support your brand promise.
And then focus your organization on engaging with your consumers across the key media channels in a conversation that continues to reinforce, develop and deepen your brand promise.
Why? So that when consumers think of your brand, they think of one thing -- how you're different, better and more special than the other guys.