I was at the BMA Conference in Chicago a little while ago. It was a tremendous experience with a host of great speakers and events. I can honestly say that much of it was truly inspiring. It was also very refreshing to see and hear the vast and positive client experiences as well.
A central theme that seemed to unveil itself through the conference was authenticity. Basically, that brands need to behave more like human beings – appreciating that depth is more meaningful than width. You know, go deeper. Get to know your audience so as to create a more meaningful brand impression rather than just a lot of them.
Humbly, I can say that it feels as though the rest of the world is at the beginning stages of what our agencies have been professing through the brand platform work we have been doing for some time now.
I just hope that they realize that it is a lot of work to conduct business in this fashion. That’s not a bad thing, just a reality.
When you approach a brand’s challenges by beginning with defining it’s purpose, rather than simply stating what it does, that eventual impact can truly transcend. When you then pair that with a relevant, powerful and motivating insight, the result is a meaningful, and profitable, relationship with the consumer.
Nope. Living in this authentic space requires more than marketing folks articulating a great story. The very fabric of the brand, all of its stakeholders and all of the consumer touch-points – and I mean all of ‘em – like social, cause marketing, traditional, physical and digital stuff, need to be on side and permeate the very purpose you define. And then of course, there are the incredibly creative solutions that tie it all together and have your target taking notice somehow in this noisy world. But that’s another story.
And by the way, most of you are savvy enough to know that by “define”, I don’t mean create or fabricate. It’s gotta already be there – you just need to recognize and amplify it.
So, how do you address the complexity of brand adoption? I believe it falls to the C-suite. Make sure your meeting is with them if you are going to embark on this type of work. A great CMO will recognize that other areas of the corporation will need to adapt – and they have the ability to champion that or get to the ears that need to hear it. There are bound to be some opps issues or perhaps even product or service refinements that might be necessary, training might rear its ugly head as well. It’s a big responsibility for the agency of today to help spearhead, or at least help an organization recognize.
Point is, it shouldn’t end with Marketing. If it does, it won’t truly be authentic – you’ll just be authentically lying.
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