Good morning everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar. My name is Stacy Bingham, and I will be presenting today’s content. Before we get started, I’d like to cover a few administrative details. If you experience any technical problems on the call, please feel free to contact ReadyTalk customer service at (800) 843-9166. I will be recording today’s webinar and sharing the link with you via email, in case you’d like to review it again or share it with others in your office. Also, the lines on today’s call have been muted to avoid any background noise. You can use the chat function in the lower left side of your screen to chat in your questions throughout the webinar, and I will answer them at the end. The presentation will take approximately 20 minutes, and we will have 10 minutes at the end to spend on Q&A. I’m going to set up the webinar recording, then we’ll get started. Welcome to today’s webinar, Avoiding a Brand Identity Crisis, Online and Off. I’m Stacy Bingham.
First, let me tell you a bit about Albers Communications Group….
We are a full-service PR and digital marketing agency, and we strongly believe that those two strategies go hand-in-hand and work best when used as part of an integrated communications strategy.
We represent clients in all 50 states and Canada. Our team of PR and social media specialists helps our clients achieve exposure nationally and locally in their operating markets throughout the country.
As I said at the top of the webinar, my name is Stacy Bingham and I’m an Account Manager at Albers. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @fordbingham or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Here’s a look at the topics I’ll be covering today: [walk through slide] And well close with questions and discussion. Feel free to chat in your questions throughout the presentation.
Beyond your company logo, tagline, color palette, letterhead, and corporate polo is the core reason your business exists. What type of product or service do you provide that people need?
By definition, a brand is the unified voice that weaves through everything you do that reinforces who you are. A 2014 article, entitled “Why Your Company Needs A Unified Brand Experience” by Jason Cieslak explains it this way: Every encounter—viewing a commercial, visiting a website, chatting with a customer service rep, reading a confirmation email, and receiving a product in the mail—is an opportunity for your brand to deliver on its promise and convey its purpose. Those encounters can strengthen the overall brand experience. Far from being just a marketing buzzword, brand experience requires the support of myriad departments and encompasses policies, people, processes, and products. Marketers may determine the branding, but everyone in the company—the CEO, Web designers, sales staff, and everyone in between—must enact the brand promise and contribute to a unified brand experience. Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2014/26388/why-your-company-needs-to-offer-a-unified-brand-experience#ixzz3fvFX4qSI
When you are able to make a sincere connection with your potential customer – a foundation is being built. That foundation paves the way for building long-term trust and loyalty with that customer, that will eventually benefit both your bottom line and expand your customer base. Because of the trust you develop, a platform is created for your story to extend far beyond what you alone can reach. People are at the heart of every business. As a business, you are either helping people solve a problem, alleviate a pain point or provide them an exceptional customer experience. Finding a way to share your story in a compelling, emotional way is at the cornerstone of your brand’s success. According to thestoryoftelling.com: Story is how Starbucks created a whole new coffee category and elevated itself above its competitors. That story is the reason my client Kelly drives 4 kilometers, passing Dunkin Donuts and 7 Eleven on the way to pay three times more for a cup of coffee every morning. “It’s your job to give customers a story to tell!”
Telling your story in an authentic and genuine way that connects emotionally with your customer isn&apos;t something that companies can fake. According to 4 Ways to Build Trust and Humanize your Brand by Makenzie Fogelson: More than a great product or service, it&apos;s thepassion and cause at the core of the company that builds this much deeper emotional connection between the brand and the customer Always does an incredible job of this throughout their like a girl campaign. Always is on a mission to &quot;champion girls&apos; confidence.&quot; This is a cause that anyone can be inspired to change, but the target is girls and women all over the world. A 2015 Huffington Post article ranks Always brand #likeagirl campaign as the top digital marketing campaign of the Superbowl – with a message that addresses important and real issues girls face, the content and stories resonated and made a huge impact. Always uses the authenticity of story and the transparency of this site and several behind-the-scenes videos to build a powerful, emotional association with their brand. An approach that wouldn&apos;t work if Always was taking up this cause just for the numbers on social. Because all of the people in the video are genuinely invested, the message is delivered with conviction not only from the director but also the young adults who are featured in the commercial; they all believe it, too. (Four Ways to Build Trust and Humanize Your Brand)
On the other hand, it only takes one big misstep for your brand to take big steps in the wrong direction away from gaining the loyalty and trust of your customer base. Take Lulemon for example: Customers of Lululemon, an athletic apparel company pay over 150.00 for a pair of yoga pants but after a 2015 public relations and branding disaster, many customers are taking their money and loyalty elsewhere after former CEO Chip Wilson claims the yoga pants were not a fit for every body. Shoppers of the high-end yogawear brand were outraged after Wilson suggested recent production problems weren’t only the fault of the company, but of the women who try to squeeze into too-small sizes. “Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t work for (the pants),” Wilson said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
According to a recent Forbes Article, 5 Secrets to Use Storytelling for Brand Marketing Success, not just any story will draw in your potential customer – “Boring stories won’t attract and retain readers, but stories brimming with personality can.”
The article also shares insights on why authenticity matters– “Honesty and transparency are important in storytelling. Yes, you’re crafting “stories,” but they need to be rooted in the reality of your brand, products, and industry.”
&quot;People want brands with purpose and brands that matter. Brands with greater depth are those that people want to spend [time] with,&quot; says KeithWeed, executive at Vice –( explain what Vice is.)
TOMS Shoes founder, Blake Mycoskie started with a simple idea of providing a One for One business model and mission to – Today they have over 3 million facebook followers and many, many loyal customers who believe deeply in what they stand for and their desire to make the world a better place one pair of shoes at a time.
From the moment you click on their website, Twitter feed or Facebook page, Tom’s understands we want to be a part of their story not just a consumer of a product – by being a part of the Tom’s “tribe,” we feel like a part of a movement and that our purchase of a product is really an investment in so much more.
Now let’s talk more specifically about you. As part of most company cultures, we have an ”internal” language we use with each other – in board meetings, with co-workers and throughout our internal communication, we use abbreviations and insider lingo. We know our material and organization almost too well. Sometimes this “Curse of Knowledge” can blind us to who we are actually talking to. Our customers may not know as much about our company as we think they do. So, the first question I would ask when looking at your company’s brand is Who are you Talking To? Secondly, I would identify what your customer base is looking for – their core reasons for engaging with your brand may be different than you think – Do you know the answer for sure? A couple of years ago I helped a private school evaluate and grow their school’s brand. The school’s committee believed wholeheartedly one of the three main reasons families chose to send their children to that school was because of the academics. The reality was the school’s academics were sub par. When we communicate a message that isn’t authentic, we can actually lose the trust of the people we are trying to win over. That same school did have some pretty unique characteristics though. They had a close-knit, small town community that families were looking for. In the end, this was one of the three main messages we communicated throughout our digital marketing and communications plan. Find out what characteristics are unique to YOU!
Using the same school example, we started with..let’s talk about brand integration: In order to truly understand your brand’s unique qualities, I suggest listening to and understanding your customers. For the school project, we interviewed current families, alumni families, potential families and new families. The main goal was to understand why each of these families chose the school and why. From this research, we were able to understand and develop themes. One of the most effectives ways to share your company’s unique characteristics is through video storytelling. The stories can be told from the perspectives of the employees and company and how they are making a difference. They can also be told from customers whose lives are better because of your company product or service. You can use social media as a platform to share these stories on Facebook, Twitter and on your website. Website: Most of us are very aware that we only have seconds to interact with and engage potential customers online. Keeping your website up-tp-date and easy to navigate is integral to your success. Not only will customers visit your website but may also engage with and share your stories on their newsfeeds if they are inspired or find your content helpful, informational or funny. On the other hand, social media gives your potential customers a platform to share negative experiences, as well.
Before getting to your questions, I wanted to tell you about the upcoming webinars in our ongoing series.
Before we begin the question and discussion portion of the webinar, I wanted to let you know that once the session is over, a questionnaire will appear on your screen. If you don’t mind taking a few minutes to provide your comments about today’s webinar or share topic suggestions you’d like us to address in future webinars, we would value the feedback. And now I’d like to answer any questions you have. If you haven’t done so already, please feel free to chat in your questions.
Avoiding a Brand Identity Crisis, Online and Off
Avoiding A Brand Identity Crisis,
Online and Off
For the audio portion of today’s event, dial
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About Albers Communications Group
• Full-service public relations and digital
• Specialize in integrated strategies
• Represent clients in all 50 states and Canada
• Create national and local market exposure
About Stacy Ford Bingham
On Twitter @fordbingham
• Definition of a brand
• Why your brand matters
• Five characteristics of sticky brand
• Where to begin – three questions
• A branding success story
• Questions and discussion
Definition of a Brand
• Your brand is your voice
• More than a “look”
Why Does Your Brand Matter
• A memorable and lasting brand:
• Builds trust and loyalty
• Tells your story
• Develops an emotional connection