What is the perception of your brand? How do you articulate that perception in your marketing? Not sure? Read this.
Who Are You?
We all know that in order to exist, a company has to fulfill on a customer need. For the company to be successful, it has to pose a unique ability to solve this problem and be either: more convenient, more affordable, or different in some way from other possible solutions. Great marketing creates a context in which the experience of using its company’s product or service appeals at a high level to the concerns of the customer. Creating a contextual message online that is consistent with this offering is key. Content then, is the message. Context is how the message is delivered. It’s the context that is decisive in reaching our customers.
My favorite context is to make a personal, emotional appeal. When we create content for any social media site, the key is to tell an impactful story quickly. Nobody repeats generic advice, information, or really anything that doesn’t strike a chord somewhere. Our context has to be a collection of great stories that add up to an image that accurately represents not just what your company does and where your company is, but WHO your company is. And in many ways, celebrating who your company serves.
A great way to start creating an online personality context is to create in imaginary target customer. Lexus built an SUV with an imaginary customer, a woman, who was made up of analytics combed from a survey of a specific market segment with a certain level of income and geographic area. This woman they created as their perfect customer, the person who would have every reason to love their new SUV. They told her story; they created the perfect car for her. ‘She is eight months pregnant, so she will need great seat controls, improved traction and support, better suspension, a way to get into her tall vehicle comfortably, more airbags, video consoles for security, rear adjust, comfortable and accessible spaces for children, and emergency roadside assistance’.
Your customers are people with stories. When you consider the people you serve and what you provide for them, we start to see a context – the current perception of your brand. This feedback provides a starting point for telling your unique story and creating a compelling context online.
One new media outlet I love for this is Pinterest. Pinterest leverages images and collections of images to tell a story about its users. Individuals with Pinterest accounts have boards – picture collections that instantly tell a story about the collector. Like combing through a scrapbook or photo album, except the pictures are all on one webpage and the story happens in moments.
A few companies have created Pinterest accounts and posted interesting boards to connect with their customers. The most successful Pins from companies are the ones that tell a story instead of generically marketing pictures of their products. A home building company has a board devoted to garden design, one for interior decorating, and one for travelling. A major food manufacturer repins pictures of recipes prepared by fans, holiday DIY gift tips, and historic pictures of the town they are based in. Martha Stewart gives away her tips and tricks for home decorating with theme boards on Pinterest on the same day the articles show up in her magazine or air on television.
With a direct online connection to customers, there is always the opportunity present to create a context that appeals to you and your clients at a higher, emotional level. With your online presence: tell your story in a personal, meaningful way if you want to build a loyal customer base. The context is decisive!