Audience First, Brand Second
A lot of people work on branding while isolated from the audience. But some “best marketing advice” says to work the audience first and then your brand.
In a white paper downloaded from Silverpop System Inc, “The Best Marketing Advice I Ever Received, and the Best I Ever Gave,” featured an interview with Scott Monty, the global digital and multimedia communications manager for Ford Motor Co. His thought was simple, but very different than what most do to create an effective brand: Consider your audience first, then manage your brand’s place within.
The reason for this is that a brand is something others think about you, not always just what you project. That sounds a little like a chicken-or-egg argument. But even if you don’t actively brand yourself, you still have one because your customers or stakeholders think something about you and this is your brand. It is more like a reputation than a look—it’s what people think and believe about you. So if your efforts don’t connect or resonate with an audience, it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do, and that is brand (as a verb).
“People don’t trust companies the way they used to. They look to third-party experts, the media and [social media experts and bloggers],” says Monty.
Brand building is not easy. It takes consistency, delivery and patience. And it takes thinking of your audience first and then managing you brand’s place within it.