Four Tips to Bringing Your Brand to Life in this Decade

Getty Images / Dimitri Otis

Your brand is what makes our company stand out, makes you unique.  It’s what people remember you by.  Your brand instills confidence, reassures customers and helps in building trust with those that you do business with.

Marketers with a great deal of brand experience are starting to focus their attention on ongoing connections with customers, not just the click.   Ongoing connections with customers is the true measurement of how well your brand is doing in the marketplace.

   It’s the connection that they feel that will continually put your brand first on their consideration list.

Branding also isn’t about just ad placement anymore, it’s about storytelling.  We all saw proof in that during this year’s Super Bowl game and the advertisements that had the most impact.  Advertisers used stories to go after pulling the emotional strings of viewers. Some worked, some didn’t – but the effectiveness was in the story.  A story that puts forth an idea and using the story around the idea builds trust.  Our focus should be on building the relationship over time, the one and done era is over.

Let’s look past the ad size, new formats, segmentation, targeting and programming according to buying methodologies.  It’s time to expand our thinking about our brands.  How do we get their attention, implant an idea, share a story and begin the start of a relationship that will build an ongoing connection with our customers?

That’s the new success formula of building a brand.  While the other items are still important when it comes to sharing the story – the story is the most vital component to gaining the attention that starts the connection.

What will it take to build your brand in this decade?

Viewable Impressions
Obviously you will need to be present where your target market is.

  If they can’t find you, really nothing else matters.  You need to be seen, so viewable impressions are important.   This means that you don’t just have advertisements running, but they are being seen.  This is an improvement from online impressions, because viewable impressions can actually provide information on events that are fired in a browser showing you whether or not your ad content was actually viewable.   Impressions are just simply no longer enough.   It’s time to have a conversation with your media partners and ask them for a viewable impression guarantee. 

Attention Matters
While viewable impressions are important, it doesn’t matter if your advertisement doesn’t get the viewer’s attention.   This is the metric you will see continually increase in importance whether you are in the advertising agency and need to prove your value or you are in the corporate world and need to prove that your messaging is working.   The attention of consumers is limited, but it’s what we in the marketing industry need to value the most.

Measuring attention isn’t easy and the newness of the metric, brings challenges when trying to determine it.  You will need to create benchmarks, to get started consider the following attention metrics:

  • How long was the advertisement viewed?
  • Did the viewer interact with the advertisement?
  • What was the interaction?
  • Did they hover over the ad?
  • Did they click the ad?
  • Did they take action on a mobile device?

Use this information to gain a better understanding of the conditions where you are displaying the advertisement. Try A/B testing to assist in making smarter decisions based on the attention data above using them as attention signals.   The more you study attention metrics, the better you will get at transacting on attention and the stronger connection you will make with consumers.

Build the Story
Attention metrics will help in building the story that your target market relates to. As I mentioned earlier there was a commonality among all of the commercial advertisements that showed during the 2015 Super Bowl Game.

  They all shared a story, many of them pulling at the heart strings of viewers.  There were some that worked and others that flopped.   Laugh or cry, it didn’t matter the commonality was emotion.  That’s what stories do, even if they are only 60 seconds or less.  What story could you tell with your brand?   The story seems to be the strongest part of building a brand in this decade a few of my favorite examples:

  • Chrysler - Wisdom 100 Anniversary - Chrysler’s recent advertisement sharing their 100 year anniversary through the words of individuals who are over 100 years old.  Using the concept that we learn from our elders, men and women as old as 106 share the type of hard-earned knowledge that only comes from living a long life.   They use this video to build their brand through centenarians sharing attitude, defiance and irreverence.  View the Video
  • Pantene – Sorry Not Sorry -   Pantene strengthens their brand by encouraging women to stop apologizing.  You can imagine how women can relate to this commercial, this puts Pantene at the top of their consideration list.  This is only one part of the “Shine Strong” campaign that Pantene has launched and its getting attention.  View the Video

Cultivate the Relationship
As I mentioned strong brands are about building an ongoing relationship with your customers.  You’ve positioned yourself in front of them, you’ve monitored what it takes to get their attention, you’ve shared your story and now you must continue to grow the relationship.  Continue to grow your brand using different touch points with your customers.  Create a plan that has you in touch with them on an ongoing basis.  Use lead nurturing, email marketing, remarketing and more.   Nurturing the relationship is what matters, build out a nurturing plan that will work for you.