What is Brand Communication?
Brand communication refers to all activities that provide some means to communicate with your audience. Typically following a specified strategy to maximize the response based on understanding your audience, their needs, their intent, their personality and motivations.
Activities such as advertising, be it traditional and or otherwise. It is more effective via social media platforms due to the contemporary realities, and can benefit greatly due to its ability to generate conversation, reviews, shares and so on. It can also facilitate brand managers the capacity to respond directly to answer questions or to respond to complaints. These are just some examples of where a brand may communicate with its audience.
To reiterate, Brand Communication occurs every time your audience engages with your company, brands, products, and services. It could be as simple as seeing your signage or reading an article, much like this one. Your method of communication becomes more effective when all methods of communication are applied cohesively, consistently and following the predetermined strategy that targets a specific audience as based on their needs, intent, demographics and so on.
The Cycle of Communication and Analysis
Working out how to ‘communicate’ effectively with your audience should be a primary objective, it encompasses learning how to conduct brand management, in how to analyze and optimize the methods in which your business provides updates, encourages, instructs, clarifies, recaps, and imparts experience and knowledge to all consumers and stakeholders, in terms of what your brand’s strengths, values, fundamentals, and offerings your business, brands, products, and services provided. And as such should also directly influence the methods in which you conduct your business long term.
Brand communication efforts should certainly include how they influence stakeholders. Stakeholders comprise all employees, shareholders, investors, sponsors, and external parties associated. They are predominantly tied to your brand and should be continually updated cornering all brand matters. They are the face and voice of your company, and as such, brand managers need to emphasize the importance their stakeholders provide the company. This process may also strengthen long-term relations.
Keeping Stakeholders Abreast
A major part of conducting brand management is to ensure all stakeholder are familiar with and comprehend all various promotional tools and tactics as selected by the company, they need to comprehend how to communicate properly, to better influence customers concerning educating the consumer about your brand, business as a whole, and what you offer, be it products and or services in the hopes to increase brand awareness, conversation and to ultimately land sales.
Brand Communication Mediums
Mediums in which to form communications may include varied use of traditional platforms, such as newspapers, radio, television, and all other print formats. It also includes more contemporary platforms such as social media, websites, online ads, articles, blogs, podcasts, videos, and any other form of digital media in which one can integrate a brand communication program.
As for implementation, whether you have an employed an internal marketing and or design department, a crew of advertising gurus, a bunch of savvy PR specialists or if you decided to hire an agency like lia s. Associates | Branding and Design to plan out and conceptualize your overall Brand Communication strategy, be mindful to ensure that all content produced meets the expectations of your audience. It must use a language, tone and personality that relates to the consumer, it certainly needs to be authentic, and be relevant. Determining the factors requires Brand Research to fully comprehend your consumer.
Due to the sensitive nature of today’s online experience, where saying the wrong thing could create a devastating result, just look at what happened to Gina Carano, she said the wrong thing on her social media account, it caused a Twitter stir and resulted in her being fired by Disney. It emphasizes the need to ensure your brand communications strategy contemplates every nuance of how it might be perceived. Creating a negative response can be detrimental, especially considering one person can potentially reach millions via social media. It requires a proactive ability to respond to negative responses, and act accordingly. And hence emphasizes the need to hire someone mature, intelligent, experienced and capable of traversing the contemporary mindset of today’s audience. Considering at the end of the day, they are directly representing your business.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
The power granted to those responsible for actively communicating with your consumers in this day and age, provides a business with significant opportunity to reach massive targeted audiences, and to shape the perception of your business. If your company lacks a relevant Brand Communication strategy, one that doesn’t make sense or relate to your company and or audience, or if it lacks a qualified team to handle it proactively, appropriately, and regularly, it will likely harm the perceptions associated with your business, brand, products, and services.
Benefits of Brand Communication
The following list describes 5 benefits of how Brand Communication can affect your business positively.
- It Delivers Impact
Successful brand communication is the result of impacting customers in a way that provides a connection in some form of other with your brand. It forms a relationship that inspires consumers to interact, converse, share, save, review, promote and purchase your companies’ brands, products and services. In this current era, most companies opt towards enhancing their online presence and building two-way relations through social media platforms due to multiple reasons, one being it is potentially free, has a wide reach, can be monitored, easy to implement, and can enter potentially enter the daily life of an individual or community.
- It Builds Brand Authority
Brand authority refers to trust earned by its audience, customers, and is often determined by the level in which you possess knowledge on a certain subject, especially on an expert level. There are numerous factors that can be said to produce authority, that being providing convincing content, an maintaining an active online presence, and actually interacting with your audience via social media platforms. If a brand refuses to interact with their community and does little to impart knowledge, or communicate their views on a range applicable subjects, they could potentially miss out on beneficial opportunities to engage with their audience along with aligning themselves with other entities facilitating the means for communications. Such as creating content for credible online destinations, contributing to blogs and other authoritative sites, taking advantage of social media, promoting your awards, displaying customer reviews and testimonials, hosting podcasts and so on. Not many brands these days can become a Brand Authority without actually proving it.
- It Provides Differentiation
Brands that take the time to connect and build relations with their consumers tend to succeed more so than those that don’t. They differentiate themselves by engaging, learning and adapting to the needs or intent of their audience, this creates a significant competitive advantage due their ability to harness the power of brand loyalty and maintaining strong ties with an engaged, motivated audience. True a fair portion of this form of differentiation is formed by their market offerings, but is greatly affected by how they become closer via the use of clever Brand Communications.
- Improves Brand Loyalty
It is generally agreed that brand communication can produce a strong influence towards building brand trust and brand loyalty, more so when combined with positive aspects related to Brand Image. Possibly this could be due to the fact that consumers are more likely to form trust and express their loyalty to a brand that displays a ‘good image’ and reputation. Which ties in with what we mentioned in point 2. By delivering positive experience for your viewers, through the use of compelling brand communications, like advertising and or promotions, dependent on the content, could potentially inspire people to feel strongly enough to become brand advocates themselves, via multiple platforms, predominantly social media.
- Shapes Your Market
Brands that successfully form communities through engagement, often result in producing markets for themselves. Unilever is well versed in this type of strategy. While they handle multiple brands, they are able to engage with their audience using a form of brand communication that not only inspires trust, it reflects their values and essence, and associates it with the values and essence their audience aspires towards. Thus, improving the perception of their products as trustworthy thanks to proactive brand communications.
How to Improve Brand Communication?
The following list describes 7 ways to improve your businesses Brand Communications
- Decide On an Appropriate Spokesperson
Some businesses utilize a specified spokesperson to represent the face of their business and brand and as such will be responsible for directing conversation and influencing how people/consumers/customers perceive your brand. These types of people need to be intelligent, capable of articulating concepts clearly, they also need to comprehend the ins and outs of your brand, products and services. Their business acumen and knowledge of your industry must portray a high level of proficiency.These types of influencers are typically people who have been with a company from the start. They understand the nature of their business, brands, products, or service. They are typically integral to the growth of the company. Chances are they are senior Brand Managers, Brand owners and affiliated partners with a significant stake in the matter.
- Utilizing Optimal Media Channels
Regardless of the strength of your brand message or the power your brand has within the market, if should go without saying, if you select the wrong media channel, your efforts will be wasted.Be sure to wisely select the most optimal media channel in order to direct your brand communication strategy effectively.For most companies it is not clear what channels may be more or less effective, and as such requires a process of trial and error. To gain data and insight into where your strategy should be aligned progressively.Begin by optimizing your brand communications by producing a mix of traditional formats, such as newspapers, magazines, posters, billboards, and so on. Additionally, include a combination of varied digital formats, such as using websites, blogs, and an array of social media platforms in order to gather and formulate data for your company to reassess and redirect ongoing communication strategies. Your methods must be dynamic, flexible, and willing to adapt, on the go. Brand Communication is rarely ever static. Test and revise.
- Be Authentic
Contemporary consumers are more wary of advertising, in terms of having been bombarded their whole lives, they automatically signal out most advertorial noise. They can also smell a lie a mile away. And so, it is strongly suggested to ensure all instance of where people engage with your Brand Communication, they find your content is honest and authentic. Truth produces trust, and trust inspires loyalty, loyalty produces long-lasting relationships, and as such ensures the longevity of a business, brand, product and or service. Don’t lie.
- Be Ready For Dialogue
Create a means for feedback, gather input and suggestions so as to inspire trust and a means to discover how audiences negatively perceive your deliverables.Your Brand Communications team needs to understand how to properly gauge how they will respond appropriately, following the strategies contained within your brand communications outline, so as to not create further negative impressions but to deliver on the expectations of your audience. Be smart, and respond accordingly.
- Showcase The Brand’s Personality
An essential aspect to improving your brand communications comes from showcasing your Brand personality during all instances where your audience interacts and engages with your brand. It requires humanizing the experience, by providing an emotional, connection with your consumers. Brand tone, voice style, and mannerism should be cultivated to influence a positive impression to urge faith, trust, and long-term brand loyalty.
- Be Helpful
Again, to reiterate, besides providing awareness concerning the deliverables your company provides, qualifications, awards and so on. You need to provide access for dialogue that enables your team to directly converse (help) with customers when they need assistance. Be it dealing with Q&A or handling complaints and such. It requires that an organization set in place and a proactive team so as to facilitate and manage this conversation, at risk of producing negative effects if ignored.The benefits are that is it signifies your company as one that cares. It creates a positive impression that may exceed the expectation of your customer, and as such create a potentiality of earning a happy, loyal customer.
Transparency inspires trust and loyalty. This is important when dealing with stakeholders. Communication should be direct, honest and provide a complete overview concerning a company’s existing and ongoing developments including the status and direction the company will take in terms of what deliverables they will be providing customers.
Closing Points to Building Brand Communications
To reiterate, regardless of what, how, when, and where you use to communicate your brand message, be it face-to-face, or upon social media platforms, using online formats or traditional methods for promotion, the following aspects is a list of proven ingredients that go towards building powerful Brand Communications:
- Provide cohesion across all marketing communications by delivering a consistent brand identity, including how you deliver the voice, tone, core message, and promise across all selected media platforms. Portraying your brand consistently generates positive impressions. Make it part of your process when shaping impressions. The way you see yourself is generally reflected in how others perceive you.
- Deliver the core message associated with your brand during all brand communications. This message refers to the promise your company offers to your audience in terms of value, expectation and proof on the claims to deliver be it directly or indirectly, across all methods of communications.
- Interact with your target audience frequently to shape, inspire and urge interaction. Just like any relationship, if you become lax in maintaining your relations, so too will your connection weaken. “Reach builds awareness… Frequency changes minds”.
- Gain the attention of your audience. Whether it be face to face, via all adverts, websites, social media. Grab the attention of your audience by communicating a single point, efficiently. Keep posts minimal. Be brief, to the point, positive, motivational, provide bulleted points and lists, make the content easily scannable and ensure content loads fast.
- Make actionable and easy-to-read content. Always communicate with an objective. Do you want to create an impression? To sign up? To visit your webpage? To join an event? To make a purchase? The benefits are numerous, some of which refer to Lead Generation, Product or service discovery, social sharing, Event promotion. It creates the best opportunity to motivate your audience and to take real steps toward becoming a customer or client.
- Create shareable Provide content that relates to your audience’s intent. Consumers tend to be swayed by reviews. Make communications easy to share, make them relevant to the interests of your reader, valuable and useful to inspire them to save, and share your content.
Some of the benefits include building increased Brand Awareness, it is low cost or even free, it can also assist with SEO, boosting site traffic, driving consumer engagement and growing leads.
Need help with developing your Brand Communications? Please contact us at lia s. Associates | Branding and Design agency in Surabaya, alternatively we could offer a customized course on the subject to better educate your team.
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Written by Michael Jordon
16 Jun 2021