Branding

Questions over the legitimacy of Influencer Marketing

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Mark Ritson: How ‘influencers’ made my arse a work of art

Influencer marketing suffers not just from the problems of fake followers and viewability, but from a lack of credibility, as I proved when I paid influencers to make a picture of my posterior go viral.

Brands as a source of inspiration and transformation

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Branding should be an exciting journey with the role of consultants or advisors being to lead you successfully to rewarding places you might not otherwise have visited – placing your brand at the centre of everything you do.

After all, brands are the source-code for all corporate activity. Clear and distinctive positioning is the basis for building great brands . . . brands that resonate with their customers, building powerful and enduring emotional bonds.

When brands are strategically sound they become a source of inspiration and transformation for the people that own and operate them.

Inspiration because they lift the spirits of the people who own and deliver them. Employees are proud of great brands. You only have to step into Starbucks to pick up on the brand-induced energy their front-line staff have. Inspiration works ‘back of house’ too. Knowing that one is an important part of delivering a great brand unites the staff who toil behind the scenes – invisible, below the waterline. The 7/8 of the brand iceberg customers don’t usually see.

Transformation because a powerful vision for your brand has a ripple effect throughout the organization. Aligning the operations of the business behind an inspiring vision is no easy matter. Ensuring all your marketing and communications activities are on-brand is harder still. Exploring your entire value chain takes the brand to suppliers and out to distributors and retailers.  

Taking this holistic approach to branding ensures you leverage the brand to maximum effect. It places the more mechanistic, communications-only approach to branding in the shade.

Brands as ideologies

Branding has evolved in response to an increasingly sophisticated and demanding consumer. Brands can no longer just be labels. They need to be ideologies – ways of looking at the world. It’s a tale of two brands. Those that stand for something special and deliver it – and everyone else. Those who make an emotional connection with the consumer – and those who do not.

Think about what matters to you as an organisation. What are you passionate about? Have you seeded these passions in your people? Do your customers and business partners know what your passions are? Can they feel it from how you behave, how you look, what you say? In this way you can define a niche – and own it.

Characteristics of great brands include:

  • They offer a distinctive difference that's relevant and meaningful to their target market.
  • They are optimistic and inspiring, taking us somewhere new (visionary).
  • They are emotionally engaging.
  • They allow us to express who we are - sometimes help to define us.
  • They deliver more than they promise.

These are the important first steps in getting out of the commodity trap that so many businesses now face.

Purple specialises in building and boosting powerful service sector brands by helping clients stand for something special and delivering it without compromise.

Purple’s 5-Step process for designing and delivering distinctive brand experiences

Step 1: Let your Brand Strategy provide the context.

Step 2: Undertake a thorough Brand Experience Audit.

Step 3: Define your Signature Brand Experience Theme.

Step 4: Design and structure the experience and inspire staff behind it.

Step 5: Monitor the quality of each brand experience and make adjustments.

E-mail us for a copy of our FREE guide to delivering distinctive brand experiences.