Teaching An Old Brand New Tricks

An agile brand strategy allows organizations to update traditional brand messages in the moment as events happen, while still remaining true to their core values and identity. Agile branding is not about changing things all the time; it’s about responding and iterating in order to stay relevant.

Technology is the driving force behind agile branding. Modern consumers expect more from their favorite brands, and through a variety of tech platforms, they interact with them on a daily basis. Connecting to consumers through digital and largely interactive channels (like social media) gives brands access to a valuable supply of consumer data. In this “always-on” culture, knowing what consumer audiences are saying, thinking, and feeling about your brand in real time is at the core of an agile brand. 

Transparency and Brand Purpose Dominated Cannes

The big topic of the week was industry change, driven largely by transparency. Agencies are evaluating opportunities and challenges to their business model as buyers demand more oversight of media, fees, and attribution. Increasing interest in ad tech in-housing has also stoked soul-searching.

Every brand also talked about reflecting an authentic, real world in its marketing—from the people in front of and behind the cameras, to creative and targeting strategies. The campaigns that seemed the most likely to succeed were all “purpose-centric,” with the brand rallying around a specific and common cause.

Brand Safety is a Brand Authenticity Problem

Marketers know that in a world of globalized competition, consumers are one click away from choosing a different product or service. Taking a stand can help brands appear righteous and earn consumer loyalty, which is why brand safety scandals necessitate a massive and speedy PR response. However, responding to or apologizing for such scandals can only be perceived as authentic the first time around—not the second time, and definitely not the third. The endless cycle of brand safety scandals reveals one of two things about today’s brands—they’re either lemmings, or they don’t really care about brand values.

Fostering Brand-Customer Relationships in the Age of Social Checkout and Chatbots

Currently, 74% of consumers visit the social media pages of brands to inspire future purchases. And as evidenced by the popularity of Instagram Checkout, sales tools like Apple Business Chat, and new ad products like Google‘s Shoppable Ads, the industry is rapidly moving towards commerce that removes the friction between inspiration and an actual purchase.

But when the path to purchase is shortened, so is the opportunity for brand and customer to interact, which is probably what attracted your customers in the first place. Especially in the world of social media, brand persona is an enduring element that differentiates your brand and creates fans out of customers.

The good news is, you don’t have to sacrifice brand voice for a social commerce strategy. In fact, with the right tools, you can enhance it.

The Genesis Story: Why It’s a Key Part of an Effective Marketing Strategy

The cornerstone of a company’s brand narrative and storytelling efforts will all spring from the brand’s genesis story. The story of the creation of the brand, the who, the why, and the what of it, are the threads that weave the brand’s story together. A genesis story tells the consumer not only what the brand is and how it was created, but also about the brand’s values, what kind of company they are, and what kinds of people work there. Think of the brand genesis story as the brand legend.

Beyond SEO: How to Reframe the Local Marketing Conversation

“I am looking for a language framework that helps business understand that the idea of ranking only makes sense in the context of not just getting more customers but also keeping them. While businesses might want a floodgate of leads, there are many things that they could be doing that would be cost-effective and productive,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest Street Fight discussion.

Brand Building Beyond Reviews: Is the Local Marketing Ecosystem Ready?

“I think it makes more sense for a small business to buy ‘brand building’ that includes some community events and link building than for that same business to buy SEO,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. Find out what tech tools can build a local brand and why David disagrees partly with Mike’s suggestion.

Increasingly, Your Brand Is Its Reviews

Mihm to Blumenthal: The famous Jeff Bezos quote comes to mind: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Increasingly, the room is not a physical place but a virtual one—and it’s not a place you own. Reviews really bring the need to run a decent business at your core into stark relief.

Four Keys to Ensure Your Brand Has Local Authenticity Online

Taking time to ensure that your brand is represented authoritatively and genuinely online helps build a solid connection with your audience. But how does your brand communicate that authenticity at a local level? Here are four essential ways to build local authenticity through your localized social marketing efforts.

Identity Crisis: Optimizing a Brand While Pursuing Omnichannel

Andrew Witkin: When viewed as a way to raise brand awareness and impressions, a clicks-to-bricks move can still net an overall gain—if the traffic from the retail space driven to the website costs less than what it would to purchase those impressions through online advertising. The end goal of an omnichannel strategy is not only to engage customers with an experience that isn’t available online but also to use this unique experience and brand awareness to boost online sales.

8 Branding Strategies for Hyperlocal Vendors

A strong brand strategy is the foundation of a winning launch, even though developing the strategy can increase the time it takes to get a new product to market. Here are eight brand development strategies for hyperlocal vendors, from founders and executives who’ve been in the trenches themselves.

Sponsored Content: With Banks, There’s a Brand Battle on Every Corner

This month’s Brand Battle, in conjunction with Brandify, compares the local-social engagement strategies of two of the U.S.’ largest banks: Bank of America and Chase. The contest was close on several counts, but Chase emerged as the winner, with social engagement the determining factor in this matchup.

How Online Reviews and Product Information Are Fundamentally Changing Local Marketing

In a new book, “Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information.” Stanford professor Itamar Simonson and co-author Emanuel Rosen take a look at the impact that access to perfect information has on the way consumers make purchase decisions. The big finding is that more and more, the value of brand, and the type of awareness marketing aimed at keeping the brand top of mind, is quickly eroding…