Branding Insights

Brand relationships can enhance all brands in the family

61% of your customers get annoyed when they can’t determine which company owns a brand (according to a recent survey in Harvard Business Review). As parent companies acquire brands, effectively communicating parent ownership is critical as no one wants to annoy 61% of their customers.

We help companies share brand stories that help shape brand connections to parent companies.

Storytelling done right helps transform the brand and it’s parent relationship to a new position in the customer’s mind that both brands can comfortably own and in a way that makes both brands stronger.

Brand stories should be an integral part of the messaging in your companies Brand Activation Guide. Your creative people around the globe should have access to the words and images these stories convey, so that the creative people on the front lines can craft your marketing material with a unified look and voice.

Review your current brand guidelines and see if you’ve provided global creative teams with the visuals and messaging they need to make a consistent emotional connection with your best customers. And pay special attention to how you demonstrate the relationship of the parent brand.*

* True story. The day after we read the Harvard article about the opportunities in explaining the parent brand relationship, we received a mailing from our phone company telling us if we did not call an 800 number and decline, they would take over the billing for our Direct TV account. No other explanation. No benefits listed for making the switch. No story about the relationship between the two brands. The potential for annoying the customer is present.

Creating a culture involves a series of small changes

We were advising a client the other day on creating a unique culture in their organization when suddenly they told us we were hunting mice, when their problems were more of the elephant nature (bigger). Great analogy we thought.

Our client was correct. We were hunting mice. Building a unique culture in an organization most often involves embracing a series of small (mice like) practices, that when applied cumulatively to the customer experience, send a strong story about the culture in an organization.

Zappos just sends shipments overnight. Apple just works. We help companies create a unique culture in their organization by uncovering and agreeing to a series of small changes, that when put into effect, can differentiate your brand from your competition and create a memorable culture for employees and customers.

Making marketing dollars achieve optimum results

Your marketing director brings in creative for your review. You like it, but sense that something is different. Upon closer review, you notice that your new artist has altered your corporate logo putting his or her own personal twist on your brand.

Unchecked, your marketing material will quickly appear as if it is coming from a different company each time you reach out to prospects or customers. And that is a waste of marketing money.

Creative people love to change stuff and make it our own. After all, doing cool new stuff is what attracted us to the creative side of the business. But to achieve the greatest sales results requires discipline, and leaders must follow a well-planned brand activation guide that clearly defines brand usage.

Your brand activation guide should include stories that further define your brand and enlighten customers, prospects and most importantly, internal employees about what your brand and company stand for, and the direction you are leading the company.

Transforming brands through storytelling

The most effective way to change brand perceptions is through storytelling that describes a time when the brand stepped up and performed a memorable breakthrough event. The story should transform the brand to a new position in the customer’s mind that the brand can comfortably own.

Those kinds of brand stories should be an integral part of the messaging in your companies Brand Activation Guide. Your creative people around the globe should have access to these stories and other copy and visual messaging as they craft your marketing material with a unified look and voice.

Review your current brand guidelines and see if you’ve provided your global creative teams with the visuals and messaging they need to make a consistent emotional connection with your best customers.

The Lost Art of Storytelling

There is a world of difference between a Brand Activation Guide and a Brand Logo Manual. The latter shows the logo and how it should be displayed correctly on letterheads, business cards, etc.

A well-done Brand Activation Guide is something all together different. Those that are responsible for their company’s marketing material should have their Brand Activation Guide open on their desktop as they incorporate the stories, messaging, and visuals into marketing material they are creating.

The most effective way to change brand perceptions is through storytelling that describes a time when the brand stepped up and performed a memorable breakthrough event that helped transform the brand to a new position in the customer’s mind that the brand can comfortably own.

In our work with new prospective clients, often times B to B global behemoths, we are amazed to find no such messaging has been written. What we most often see is a small manual that demonstrates how to display the brand logo on stationary. No stories and no emotional connection to the brand.

Review your current brand guidelines and see if you’ve provided your global creative teams with the messaging and visuals they need to make a consistent emotional connection with your best customers.