Welcome to our RaceFit™ Focus series, a programme of content exploring the seven key building blocks that underpin a successful brand. The Red Tree’s innovative RaceFit™ programme launched earlier this year to help brands evaluate their fitness level. Easily completed in 25 minutes via an online platform, in an industry first, feedback is instant via a detailed, bespoke report full of expert advice, precisely engineered to get a brand RACEFIT™.
This month we are delving into Marketing and Communications. We invited Wren Holmes, Marketing Manager at The Red Tree, to share her approach and insights to these disciplines. From pinpointing your brand values and voice, to identifying who your consumer is, brand success ultimately relies on one metric; how well you communicate.
The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brands consultancy, with a proven track record in building businesses, brands and people. We develop and steer your ideas, challenge your thinking and deliver results.
Be wary of a single story (aka a USP).
I think of a brand as a material embodiment of a personality and as such it should have multiple traits and characteristics.
This is one of the reasons why founder brands can be so successful, as the brand embodies the 3D personality of the founder.
In this stellar TED talk, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says: “The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.”
When brands resort to a single story, they can unwittingly paint a stereotypical picture of society. One where natural variations in diversity, age, disability, gender, and sexuality are excluded. In this scenario, brands are negating several versions of their target consumer.
Building an overall picture of your consumer is a subtle exercise in being specific and general. ‘Our target customer is female and aged 25-35’ is specific and general in the wrong way. ‘Our target customer has sensitive skin, likes to use natural products, and cares for the environment’ is specific and general in the right way – your customer might be female, male, any age, but you now know which types of publications to advertise in, what type of content to produce, and what types of causes to support your customer may identify with.
Social media content strategy should inspire, serve, guide, and educate, in equal parts. If it’s not entertaining then few people will want to follow you, but at the same time I think brands often underestimate the level of detail that consumers like to know about their products. Following these four content goals approaches – to inspire, serve, guide, and educate – will really help keep your voice fresh, exciting, and comprehensive.
Do be respectful of your presence on social media, these are social platforms and be grateful to your customers who welcome you into their world.
The difference between a brand and a commodity business is the emotional connection a consumer places on you, and it’s difficult to build this if you don’t use your voice – what does your brand care about?
Brand communication used to be framed as if it were a one-directional ‘brand broadcast’ but with the advent of social media, communication has progressively moved towards building ‘digital dialogue’.
Last year brands placed enormous emphasis on influencers and influencer strategies, but don’t forget that user-generated content (UGC) is vital. A well written review or voted-for award adds credence because it’s impartial – what your customer says is more important that what you say. Place stock on UGC.
My biggest advice? Engage with the people who ultimately keep your business going – your customers.