March 7th, 2011
The goal of branded communications is to say something real: to identify what differentiates and distinguishes your brand in a crowded marketplace, to communicate your relevance, and to address the issues that matter to your customers.
The most effective brand messages do more than just catch people’s attention, they help communicate your purpose and illuminate your operations.
The way a brand operates and is experienced has far more influence on the way customers perceive a brand than do marketing, messaging, and visual identities. Talk is cheap, experience isn’t.
A cultural shift has happened and we’re all becoming increasingly aware of our social and environmental impact. A growing majority of us has begun to recognize that we’re buying more than just the tangible items we walk out of a store with. Our dollars, whether they’re spent on branded sneakers or a donation to a local not-for-profit, are actively contributing to that organization’s continued existence- for better or worse.
The Big Question is: Why should anyone care about your brand’s continued existence? The answer will likely begin with your mission, your vision, your purpose: your Big Idea. Your Big Idea is what helps re-order the hierarchy from who has the business to who deserves the business. Your Big Idea is grounded in your day-to-day operations and it’s part of your brand’s unique perspective. Your Big Idea is how your brand will thoughtfully contribute to your industry and as a steward of society. It’s the opposite of a business as usual mindset.
This, right here, is where the overlap between operational branding and communications occurs. Branded communications answer the Big Question. Saying something real, something relevant and authentic, means conveying who you really are, what you really do, and why you really matter.
If you have something relevant and authentic to say about what you really do, you have an opportunity to move of out a restrictive category, to broaden the discussion, and to answer the Big Question.
Need a few concrete examples?
Check out Ally bank: their advertisements communicate their Big Idea and illuminate their operations…
Ally Fine Print Commercial>>
Check out U by Kotex: Kotex’s U line has created products with significantly improved function and design. Instead of just making a commercial about their product innovations, they created advertisements and packaging that convey the message that Kotex is doing things differently than everyone else. Kotex showed they know what women dislike about every other tampon brand. These commercials left us with the impression that Kotex knows far more than just what women dislike, they know what women actually want…
How Do I Feel About My Period?>>