5 Ways To Deliver a Consistent Brand Identity Across Physical, Virtual, Social and Cultural Worlds
Brands today face the unprecedented challenge of reaching consumers across highly fragmented worlds – physical and virtual, social and cultural – while maintaining a recognizable identity, whether the medium is a traditional ad, a pop-up event or a 140-character tweet. Here are five strategies for delivering a consistent brand experience every time:
1. Honor the family
Remember that the family remains, for the most part, a cohesive unit in every part of the world. So, for example, while the average UK household has about six connected devices and Cisco predicts there will be five device connections for every Internet user worldwide by 2017 – much of that interaction is occurring among families with shared experiences and aspirations. And when the family comes home at the end of the day, smart marketing ensures every member has already been exposed to messaging that can then crystallize around the glow of the TV set.
2. Think Beyond Traditional Assets
Some brands are learning to decouple their identity from traditional marketing assets. Take Google’s ever-changing “doodles,” which work brilliantly to identify the brand. They compel attention as users decode the brand name disguised within each doodle. They reinforce the brand by representing exactly what Google stands for – a gateway to all the world’s information. There’s something for everyone to learn from and relate to – and they’re all experiencing it at the same time, driving a daily conversation that revolves around Google.
3. Turn Campaigns into Conversations
Campaigns are planned, slow, and all about the brand. Conversations are dynamic, responsive, and all about the consumer. And consumers are gaining power as they engage in conversations with or without active participation from brands. Brands need to harness that power. Consumers are learning to love creating their own content, and brands can gain advocates by helping them do just that.
4. Deliver Creative Experiences
Magnum ice cream’s online Pleasure Hunt games give customers another way to be creative – playfully exploring across the boundaries of different countries and even the websites of partner brands. It is a world of new, luxury experiences and brands linked to Magnum. And the player can share the adventure and her score with friends through social media – creating still more links and spreading the experience virally. With a relatively small outlay compared to conventional advertising, ventures like this engage consumers in a way they’ll remember and encourage them to share the experience.
5. Make Your Beliefs Your Brand
Your core beliefs are the only “glue” strong enough to hold all your brand messaging together, allowing you to keep control over what the brand means no matter where the conversation goes. Brands that stand for something – everywhere, every time – stand to make the greatest impression. And keep their world at a manageable size.
For more examples of brands reaching across the fragmenting consumer experience to deliver a consistent brand identity, download Patterns Issue 1, 2014: Participatory Marketing.