Wrong message. Wrong time. Wrong channel.
Together these errors in communication make for a huge uphill climb in both brand accessibility and brand awareness.
And nearly all of us are guilty of it.
Think of how your brand communicates like an inside joke.
Where what you do, what you believe, and what you sell makes 100% sense to you, but to everyone else on the outside appears jumbled and disjointed.
The hardest hurdle for nearly any new customer of nearly any company is to understand the whole picture.
Why should I buy from you? What do you sell? Is it right for me? Is this the best price? What is it like to buy from you? What makes you so special?
Most companies hear these questions, but fail to answer them in a way that is clear and straightforward.
Here’s an example:
You’re with a bunch of your employees, executives, partners, etc. discussing what you want people to know about you (services, new product, new positions, etc.). You decide to quickly write or copy-paste over some text from books, other sites, or from your own mind. There isn’t a strategy. There isn’t a copywriter. There isn’t testing. And it’s placed on a page. Followed by the expectation that it will convert. Profit, right?
There are a lot of issues that may be unseen to those closest to it.
Maybe the way you let people know is in a method that only you understand (jargon or lingo) or it is shared in a way that is unappealing or unengaging to the end receiver (too much text, boring, no call-to-action) or worse— it’s shared in a place that is hard or nearly impossible to find with ease.
Or even far worse— you have a message to share, but no channel to share it effectively.
Or the channel is so cluttered with competition, that your message gets lost in the clutter.
And yes, it sucks.
It’s this struggle to connect a message to a channel to a receiver willing to accept the message that forces a lot of companies to raise a white flag when it comes to marketing.
So how do you get around it?
It starts by clearing the slate and starting from the beginning. Your brand… who you are, what you do, and most importantly why you do it. Combined with understanding how your competitors present themselves and what your customers / clients expect of you, makes for a more well-defined, clear picture of what messages will both stand out from the crowd, and resonate with your team and the people who buy.
It’s vital to understand how your customers are describing you. You need a clear grasp of what their pain points are and how they want to learn. Because everything you do to convert them must match those expectations.
So why should we clear the slate and start with “brand” – isn’t that marketing?
Well, not exactly. Marketing is always changing. SEO. PPC. Inbound. Outbound. TV. Print. And the list goes on.
But “brand” stays the same. It’s your image, how others define you, and better yet, how they remember you is what matters most. Everything else is a tool to help place the brand’s message in front of the right people, at the right time, and in the right place.