Consumers have integrated Social Media into all areas of their life, including pre-and post-purchase activity. And they expect brands to be equally active.
Silence implies rudeness, or worse – being outdated and irrelevant.
Verbal Identity: Your brand's in a conversation with consumers (Whether you like it or not)
Right now, your brand is in a conversation with consumers.<br />Whether you like it or not.<br />
Just standing around in a conversation isn’t attractive.<br />You need to be interesting. <br />
“I’m not interested in what your marketing department thinks of the brand, I’m interested in what real people think of your brand.”<br />(Harvard Business Review, Dec ’10,<br />took 1790 more words to say this than me.)<br />
Tip:<br />Adopting the voice of g*d does not <br />work in Social Media. (Extra tip: or in any conversation.)<br />
Brands need to adapt their voice for Social Media spaces.<br />Because it’s a dialogue, in a <br />shared space. And your consumers got there first.<br />
Different layers, different media. Different media, different messages. <br />
Different levels of engagement, different media.<br />Different media, different messaging.<br />
A brand’s Verbal Identity is a competitive tool. <br />
Half of a brand’s Verbal Identity in Social Media:what the brand can say, and when, and to whom. <br />And, yes, how, it can say it.<br />
The other half of a brand’s Verbal Identity in Social Media?The values of the consumers in that space, at that time. <br />Their expectations of the brand’s values,<br />and the way it reacts to them.<br />
The only HBR case study I’ve ever enjoyed...<br />HBR Dec 2010: Forget the funnel analogy for marketing.Pre-purchase, brands are deleted/included as a result of ongoing SM research by the consumer.Post-purchase, the consumer repays the debt to SM, amplifying the good/bad purchase experience. <br />
How do you build a Verbal Identity for a brand in Social Media?<br />Listen<br />Here comes the science bit: Discourse Analysis<br />Produce the ‘pyramids of engagement’<br />Write it, revise it, try it. <br />Only then codify it.<br />
The 7 elements of a brand’s Verbal Identity in Social Media:<br />The brand in six words or less<br />The consumer layer in six words or less<br />How the brand wants to change the world<br />Tone of voice document<br />The different media, the different flavours<br />Time: 1 month – 3 months. You can’t have it tomorrow.<br />
Who is Chris West anyway?<br />10 years as an award-winning copywriter in London ad agencies, including Saatchi (Conservative Party, BA); BBH (Levi’s, Audi), Legas Delaney (adidas, Guardian,) and finally Mother (a small shop of 8 people that grew...)<br />Since 2000, running a project-based ad agency with clients including Sky, Unilever, Selfridges, Myla, BP, Kaupthing, Harry Winston, Tourneau.<br />He can write (Sunday Times, Lusso – Contributing Editor)<br />He can be reached on yowesty <at> verbalidentity.co.uk& of course: @VerbID on Twitter. <br />
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