Use a Visual Cue to Ask a Question

One of the smartest shifts a brand strategist can make is to transition the brand-marketing program from a one-way communication to a two-way conversation. Pressed for time and short on budget? The easiest and most dangerous mentality to fall into is one of “Hurry-up and get it done!” As if just doing something was accomplishment enough. What could be further from the truth in brand strategy?

When we engage our creative resources, we seem to automatically move to a default mindset that is based on “getting the message out the door.” This is where a Website and related marketing communications all move together that is designed to support the sales activities of the company.

The problem is this is extremely inadequate unless the goal of the brand strategy is solely to accomplish no more than paint a brand image.

Let’s say you’re at the start of your brand strategy development, and also let’s say you are up against a tight deadline. Do these factors change what will positively resonate with your existing and prospective customers? Obviously your intended audience does not care about your time constraints or deadlines. They just want clear concise information to help them make an objective decision about your brand. So why not give it to them without complicating the process?

We’re often so nervous when we start that we just want to speed through the process and get to the finish line where we can feel relieved that it’s all over. It might have been cheap and quick to produce, but what happens if it isn’t working? The result of this self-imposed rat race is a hurriedly produced branding campaign that does not satisfy the customer’s needs and therefore isn’t successful. Why? The brand marketing that your customers and prospective customers experience should get them to participate in many ways and if they can’t they shut down. It’s no wonder that they don’t feel willing to participate in the process, because you did not do anything to establish that you would like them to be involved.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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