Covid-19 has been around for a while now, which means we’ve all had the opportunity to rediscover long-dormant hobbies, download Tiktok and give ourselves mediocre haircuts.
It also means that businesses have had the opportunity to figure out what the new normal is and how to move forward.
In this week’s Marketing Reset, we’re going to look at Brand Messaging.
Your brand message is the connection between your business and the target audience. It clearly describes the core of the brand (values, positioning, identity), in a way that resonates with your audience.
A cohesive brand strategy can be a game-changer when it comes to edging out the competition in tight market space. That being said, brand messaging can also be harmful if it is not adjusted in consideration of environmental circumstances.
Let’s be clear, this does not mean you are overhauling the core of your brand every time there is a societal shift, even on a global scale. It just means you’re realigning your message.
Nike is one of my favourite examples of a subtle shift in messaging. Nike’s mission statement is:
This is the core idea that drives their brand messaging.
Below, are two Nike ads posted almost a year apart.
Play For the World:
Notice that the foundation remains the same in both videos – dream bigger, play harder, just do it.
However, the message has changed from encouraging the viewer into a frenzied crowd to encouraging the viewer to stay home, while never giving up on his or her dreams.
This is a formula that businesses of any size can emulate.
Here are some key questions you can use to evaluate your brand messaging to ensure it remains as dynamic as the world around us.
1. Is your messaging still accurately representing your brand?
Maybe you’ve made some integral changes to your brand, maybe you haven’t, but now is a great time to take a look at what the core of your brand is, and if the message aligns. Even if you haven’t made any major changes, brand messaging should still be re-evaluated on occasion to ensure the focus hasn’t shifted. Again, you can make minor changes to reflect the circumstances as we saw in the commercial examples above, however, ensuring the core of your brand message is consistent and properly in line with your brand is key.
2. Is your brand messaging still providing value to your customers?
This is a big one. Your message may have been alright before this huge shift in consumer behaviour – will it still hold the same value to your target audience?
If you read last week’s blog about buyer personas, that knowledge and foundation will come into play here. The priorities of your audience have shifted. That a pretty non-negotiable fact. It really doesn’t matter what industry you are in, everyone is different now. Customers care more than ever about accessibility, safety, convenience and entertainment, just to name a few. eCommerce and delivery are paramount. Zoom is no longer for business meetings.
With that shift in priorities comes a shift in the message you send. When examining your brand messaging, to determine the value to your audience, ask yourself this:
What elements of my business have changed that my customers should know about?
Am I doing anything special to remain top of mind that I can highlight?
Am I being sensitive to the circumstances of my clients?
Recently there have been some big brands that have made the mistake of using ads that have not been sensitive to the global response toward COVID-19.
This is a very interesting case because KFC’s well-known tagline is “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good”. As you might imagine, customers now value even more extensive hygiene procedures, which means when KFC aired this commercial back in late February, it did not go over well.
So, what did they do? KFC is still Finger Lickin’ Good, but they pivoted their brand messaging to focus on what is now important to their customers: Contactless service, and enhanced measures for the safety of their communities.
3. Is our messaging helping to move the company forward?
Unfortunately, there is no one solution fits all fix to how to adjust your brand messaging. Your story, foundational values and offerings are unique to your business, which means small adjustments may work for other businesses, but you need a more in-depth overhaul. That being said, looking at your gameplan for the future can often lend to the direction of your messaging. For example, if you were once a brick and mortar store that has now shifted online, you may no longer be focused on bringing people to your physical location.
“Same great stuff, all available from your seat on the couch!”
Whatever direction you are heading, be sure to bring your established customers along for the ride. This means providing transparency, clarity and value through your messaging.
Making these changes may seem daunting, but even as the landscape continues to change, the team at STEALTH is here to help navigate these sometimes murky marketing waters.
Have a question? Need some direction? Let us know, and we’d be happy to set up a meeting (via Zoom of course!), with one of our team members to get you started!
STEALTH STAYS HOME
Each week we will be featuring a Stealth team member as they share their work-from home tips and tricks.
This week, one of our designers, Kaitlyn, shares her experiences about working from home.
Working from home has made me realize that I am more extroverted than I originally thought.
Just being around people who are also in “work-mode” makes me much more motivated. I like being able to roll my chair over and get quick feedback from my coworkers. I also miss having those fun little casual random conversations. Even though we all talk on Zoom, I think there is something to be said about person-to-person interaction.
I know there are a few species of pets like Sugar Gliders that need to be purchased with at least 2 or more at a time or they will die of loneliness. After being totally isolated for a bit there, I definitely had some Sugar Glider vibes. If I heard someone talking outside I would go to the window all excited (kind of like a puppy haha), but it made me so excited when I finally did get some human contact.
It’s really made me appreciate people in a whole new way.
All in all, my day is pretty much the same. I still like to get ready and dress nicely because I know it makes me feel better. Then, I make myself a pot of coffee and some breakfast. Work for a few hours, exercise (A good tip I found is to fill a backpack with heavy textbooks to add weight to your workout.) Have some lunch.
I find I talk out loud to myself a lot, or sing, just so I don’t feel like a mute all day. I’m also finding that I don’t open my social media apps at all anymore. I think I got sick of reading all the Corona panic, so I stopped reading social media/news sites altogether.
I am definitely enjoying the media detox, and will probably keep the habit up after this is all over with. I mostly wonder how this is going to change everybody’s work habits. How many people will stay working from home vs. how many will return. Maybe some people will split up their week and do a half-and-half sort of deal. It’s been a very interesting perspective shift for the world.
I’ve been keeping a diary about it because I think it is such a fascinating event to live through.