We’ve all been blown away by a marketing/PR campaign at some point or another. Whether it’s an amazing string of ads, a hashtag that went viral, or a story that tugged on heartstrings. In such a crowded marketplace – for all industries – and with the increasing popularity of digital in campaigns, consumers are bombarded with hundreds of campaigns on a daily basis.
The challenge for brands is to deliver rapid results to hit all the targets set out in the campaign strategy. How are you going to do that if you are copying someone else’s strategy? Or, another brand’s creative ideas? In order to stand out among the crowd, you need to be different. A cookie-cutter strategy isn’t going to work for you because you aren’t the same as your competitors.
Unfortunately, marketing has been around for a long time, and this means that a lot of ideas have been trying and tested, proving to deliver strong results. It’s like jazz or blues music. You can sample from another artist in a solo, but you have to give it your own sound, otherwise you are just copying. What are you bringing to the table?
Here are things to look out for when you are trying to inject your own brand personality into your campaign.
- Don’t be distracted by the competition: They’re not going anywhere anytime soon, but dwelling on what they’re doing for their own campaigns will put you off the path you need to be on to discover your own successes.
- Define your brand messaging: This can mean taking a step back to define your industry. Are you a locksmith, or a freedom expert? Your brand messaging is the basis for your brand story. You should be able to jot down 5 to 10 key sentences about your brand and what it is that you do.
- Appeal to your ideal audience: You don’t need to be all things to all people. If you pick a niche in your industry, chances are you will be able to make a splash and then expand from there. Using a blanket technique to see how many people you can cover won’t necessarily give you the best return on your efforts.
- Tell your own story: Once you have your messaging in place and you know who you want to tell it to, think of different narratives that will exemplify what you want your audience to think of when they hear your brand name. This has everything to do with your content strategy. The content you develop should be different than other brands because you should have an opinion or an approach that is unique to your business.
- Determine your language style: How are you telling your story? Your brand is like a person, with a personality and language all its own. If you are a young, fresh brand, you wouldn’t use as much “industry-speak” and try to out-smart your customers (actually not a great idea in any case), but you might use a lot of colloquial and slang language. Pretend that your brand is speaking to someone else and write that way.
- Empower your team: whether they are senior management or entry-level employees, empower them to live your brand and enjoy what it is you stand for. There is nothing more unique than a team of individuals bringing their own perspectives.
Bonus Tip: There are marketing/PR agencies out there who use a cookie-cutter template when they put together campaigns as a cost-cutting measure on their end. If you are working with an agency, be sure to ask a lot of questions and get to know their previous campaigns to make sure that you are getting something that is unique for you.