An organisation’s history is a valuable asset to help story-tell and bring to life their personality. Indeed this can be used to their advantage. In a digital landscape where everyone and anyone is wanting to earn the attention of everyone and anyone, traditional organisations shouldn’t panic! To provide something that’s truly unique, remarkable and authentic, the answer to this question is closer to home –
Brands need to know their audience.
Eric Schmidt in 2008 famously said “Brands are the solution, not the problem” – and it’s true. We are being pushed content 24/7 by anyone and everyone culminating in consumption overdrive where to cut through the noise is proving more and more challenging to retain a share of voice of authority and trust.
The importance of having an easily identifiable brand helps the effectiveness of the messaging or value proposition. The opportunity therefore to build a credible voice of authority lies with Brands who are prepared to join in on the conversation and build authority in the content deployed across the multitude of different digital channels.
Digital branding: 7 reasons to be cheerful
- Brand domination of the SERPs* – Google knows it is brands that drive the trust and act as a knowledge centre for the vertical they operate. This post from Moz.com focuses on the ability to utilise modern SEO techniques to help build your brand authority. Brands need to focus on creating content that users want to find and to do this is to understand who your audience is and researching the types of personas associated with your brand’s product or service.
Search engines are focusing their efforts in ensuring recognised brands that deliver authoritative, compelling and remarkable content are benefitting from high search visibility.
*SERP stands for search engine results page.
- Authority– The emergence as brands reinventing themselves as knowledge centres has redefined their digital proposition as go-to authorities for the sector they operate. However many brands fail to realise that the branding opportunity is to tell a great brand narrative, a story that takes place over time and through different channels.
- Identify your Online Value Proposition (OVP) – What is it that helps to differentiate your proposition? For what reason does your organisation exist and what is it you offer that no one else can? Creating an OVP provides a differential advantage over your competitor’s products, service and brand within the market place and an opportunity to build on something that’s unique and remarkable within the sector.
- Trust – A brand that exemplifies trust provides the user with an affinity and helps to build a relationship by engaging with the consumer’s emotions through imaginative associations such as user-generated content.
- Building a brand narrative – Create a narrative that can be communicated through the different digital channels used by the organisation. Brands need to embrace the fear factor such as engaging in conversations through social media channels when addressing their users, brands should be bold, and by driving engagement, this will enhance their online reputation.
- Brand transparency –More traditional organisations fall into the trap of thinking they still have to try to control media content that impacts their brand and its perception, rather their focus needs to shift towards becoming more transparent and seek to build engagement, credibility and collaboration. Both Ford and Virgin are two traditional organisations that have embraced, re-defined and re-invented themselves whilst at the same time continuing to delight their audience.
- Utilitarianism marketing – A phrase coined by author Mitch Joel in his book, ‘Ctrl, Alt Delete’ – looks to provide your customer base with a true value and utility. You look to create something your customers would want to use every day and provide a reason to return to you as a brand every day. More importantly, your approach makes your organisation stand out in a media saturated world by building an emotional connection with the customer.
The industrial-era organisation is being replaced by more connected organisations who are open to collaboration and building external relationships in globalised market sectors. Now is the time for brands to wake up to this opportunity in establishing their proposition as a knowledge centre within their verticle and to focus on building authority and lasting connection.
Simon Swan leads digital and business transformation at the Met Office. He recently presented at Granicus’ Public Sector Communications Conference in London about why it’s important for brands to build themselves up to be a trusted ‘knowledge centre’. You can review his slides here.