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Finding True North

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I hear more and more agencies and marketing folk these days tell clients about "True North" and so I started thinking about what that really means. What's behind the creative sales jargon? This is a …

I hear more and more agencies and marketing folk these days tell clients about "True North" and so I started thinking about what that really means. What's behind the creative sales jargon? This is a high-level overview, but hopefully these slides map out a clearer message. A more easily understood path towards finding your brand's “True North”.

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  • 1. @jonathanronzio marketing professional | mountaineer | filmmaker | musician Over the years I've followed my passions and traveled the world. Sure I’m only 25, but over the past decade I’ve helped build a few start ups and launched media projects. I’ve worked with others, for others, and for myself. I’ve created and honed brands; their images and their voices. And I’m currently working on @BetweenThePeaks and residing @CramerMarketing. Whether backpacking, climbing, or scratching out business ideas in a notebook, I equate everything I do to a journey. Businesses, and brands, take journeys too, and it doesn’t take much for a brand to lose its way. I hear more and more agencies and marketing folk these days tell clients about "True North" and so I started thinking about what that really means. What's behind the creative sales jargon? This is a high-level overview, but hopefully these slides map out a clearer message. A more easily understood path towards finding your brand's “True North”.
  • 2. CONTENTS 4 discovering your true north 17 navigating the swamps 34 reaching your destination 40 sticking to the path
  • 3. DISCOVERING YOUR “TRUE NORTH”
  • 4. It’s easy for brand identity to become convoluted. It’s difficult to know exactly who you are. And it’s even harder to effectively convey your brand message to the world through marketing campaigns.
  • 5. There’s a lot of talk these days about finding your “True North”, but what does that mean?
  • 6. There’s a lot of talk these days about finding your “True North”, but what does that mean? We’re not talking about how to use a compass. For brands, “True North” refers to how you define your corporate identity, marketing messages, value proposition and product positioning. Roll that all into a ball of marketing, and make sure it hits your consumers in the face.
  • 7. Why is finding your “True North” important?
  • 8. As a brand, you’ve got to get to the “why”. You need to have a handle on who you are in order to properly craft a brand voice and brand image. It doesn’t matter if you’re large, small, in retail, or B2B, you have to define your branding strategy. Why is finding your “True North” important?
  • 9. KEY WORDS: As a brand, you’ve got to get to the “why”. You need to have a handle on who you are in order to properly craft a brand voice and brand image. It doesn’t matter if you’re large, small, in retail, or B2B, you have to define your branding strategy. Why is finding your “True North” important?
  • 10. What does my brand voice sound like?
  • 11. What does my brand voice sound like? Perhaps authoritative and booming? Or fun and witty? The tone in which you speak to and connect with your audience is the lifeblood of all communications. Whichever you chose, make it genuine. Be true to yourself because your audience can spot a fraud faster than a fart.
  • 12. What is my brand image?
  • 13. What is my brand image? Brand image is crafted through impressions and experiences. This is your total brand’s personality, as perceived through the audience’s eyes. Voice is a part of it, but there’s also the emotions, values, and messages you demonstrate. How do you stack up against competitors? How are you different? Take a look at your brand from an outside perspective and decide if you would trust you.
  • 14. And why is “True North” misleading?
  • 15. “A compass, I learnt when I was surveying… it’ll point you True North from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp… What’s the use of knowing True North?” -Lincoln
  • 16. NAVIGATING THE SWAMPS
  • 17. Knowing where your brand needs to be doesn’t mean anything unless you know how to get there. And without a message map and strategic communications plan, you’ll likely be bushwhacking until you hit quicksand.
  • 18. Knowing where your brand needs to be doesn’t mean anything unless you know how to get there. And without a message map and strategic communications plan, you’ll likely be bushwhacking until you hit quicksand. KEY WORDS:
  • 19. What is a message map?
  • 20. What is a message map? It’s a blue print. A visual representation of key and supporting messages that can be quickly and easily understood. A message map can answer common campaign questions, identify key decision drivers, and address attitudes to overcome.
  • 21. What is a message map? (continued) Message maps can be created for each key audience segment in an effort to anticipate the most effective way to deliver a message and ensure its consistency. Consistency is key in brand messaging.
  • 22. Example: ADP This conference targeted message map details the structure, content, and tonality for message development, bridging the gap between strategy and execution.
  • 23. Strategic communications…what’s that look like?
  • 24. Strategic communications…what’s that look like? Identify your audience, develop your content, select your channels. Easy right?
  • 25. Wrong.
  • 26. Wrong. The most important word here is “strategic”. With all the channels available to push content through today, an effective campaign must start with strategic program planning. You’ve got to plan for every step of the way, and have a contingency plan for each step too. Start by defining what you ultimately want to measure and that will make every decision and every touch point purposeful.
  • 27. Example: DB Export “Everywhere wine was, we were there to convince men to grab an Export Dry instead.”
  • 28. Be everywhere. Or be great where you are.
  • 29. The purchasing funnel is being turned on its head and brands need to get emotional to engage consumers’ attention spans. Emotional, and social.
  • 30. Social media: Are you drowning, treading water, or jet- skiing?
  • 31. Social media: Are you drowning, treading water, or jet- skiing? This is the battlefield where armies of consumers can crush your brand or raise you a statue. Post, share, interact, engage. Make sure your message is the same across all channels, make sure you’re talking to the right people, and make sure they care about what you have to say. If they don’t, rethink your social strategy.
  • 32. Example: Oreo Social is not for selling. It’s for demonstrating value. And reacting in real-time.
  • 33. REACHING YOUR DESTINATION
  • 34. I know you want to, but don’t stop for a breather. Today’s marketplace marathon never ends. Better to run in those crazy barefoot shoes because if you have to tie a shoelace you’ve lost the race.
  • 35. So there’s no end game?
  • 36. So there’s no end game? Simply put, no. Discovering your “True North” and implementing a brand campaign is a means to a means. Brands have to be ever evolving and always relevant. Make people talk about you. Make people love you. Relationships are a 2-way street so keep the conversation going and keep it fresh.
  • 37. Pretend you can’t afford gas. Take a seat on the bus, take off the ear-buds, and chat up your neighbor. Listen and learn.
  • 38. Example: Lay’s This brand has made it. They know who they are. But they kept it fresh and gave their consumers a voice, creating a social engagement campaign that boosted sales 12%.
  • 39. STICKING TO THE PATH
  • 40. Although “evolving” your brand is critical, straying from your brand message is a death wish. Don’t go down the dark road alone. Walk with your friends, your supporters, and keep your messaging consistent.
  • 41. Is it possible to change your image without changing your message?
  • 42. Example: Old Spice They made the shift from your grandfather’s deodorant to one of the most successful and youthful brands of today. But they never stopped marketing manliness.
  • 43. FOLLOW YOUR “TRUE NORTH”
  • 44. NORTH”@jonathanronzio FOLLOW YOUR “TRUE