How to get people to care about your brand?
Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
– SUN TZU
If you're an early stage business or an established venture in the midst of the proverbial "pivot," it can be all too easy to lose sight of your core vision and values in pursuit of boosting short-term cash flow with quixotic promotional campaigns. But to quote Sun Tzu, "Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." Bowing to the short-lived sugar rush of a successful promotion can undermine the long term viability of your brand and business. By being strategic in how you use promotional tactics, you can strengthen your brand and drive revenue at the same time.
At Giant Shoulders, we use our Brand Maturity Model to define an organization's vision, values, and purpose to foster a positive internal culture and strengthen identity. We help leaders form an ongoing rhythm of engagement that can overcome short-term business challenges while building loyalty and business valuation. In other words, the model defines your brand strategy so that you can intelligently deploy tactical sales campaigns.
1. Define your vision and values, and stick to them
Understanding your core vision and values helps you to create the messaging and experiences that continuously reinforce your brand's character. People want to be associated with and support brands that share their values. For example, Warby Parker's vision is to "help the world see better," and their one-for-one model is an excellent expression of their values. They never hedge on their commitment, even when they have a sales promotion.
2. Plan your rhythm of promotions
Sales promotions are a useful tool to boost revenue, especially during predictably slow sales periods. However, if you're positioning yourself as a premium brand, non-stop SALES! can devalue your offering. Endless discounting will train your audience that there's always a similar or better deal just around the corner, removing any sense of urgency to "buy now", when you could really use the volume. Some brands, like Banana Republic, are always discounting, but they vary what items in their assortment are eligible. This approach helps them maintain their position as quality, affordable fashion brand without creating a feeling of desperation which undermines brand value (see JCPenny's for how they were crippled by relentless discounting).
3. Don't just promote, engage.
It takes an average of seven touch-points to convert a customer, and even more if it’s a high value product. Simply bombarding leads with offers does nothing to build a relationship that fosters long-term engagement. Use a variety of marketing tactics (yes, even print media) that create opportunities for dialog on social media or with your inside sales team. By making Two-way conversations part of your marketing strategy, you will build stronger brand affinity and valuable customer insights.
4. Manage your lists!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but with a dearth of marketing automation tools out there, it's easy to oversaturate your customers with emails or SMS messages. And there's nothing more annoying than promoting something to a customer that they already have. Make sure your CRM is moving contact info for closed sales into new smart lists in your marketing automation. Tools like HubSpot and Zoho make list management and ongoing customer engagement about as easy as it's ever been.
Curious to know more about how we can use brand strategy to help you build your brand and reach people? Give us a shout.