September 15, 2020

Do you have a Brand Champion?

What is a brand champion? Larger organisations often have one – and it is an important role that has the responsibility for promoting and protecting your organisation’s image.

A brand champion has responsibilities both inside your organisation and externally.

They may be part of the team who creates and develops the brand, which also ensures they have 100% buy-in to ensuring that everyone in the organisation ‘gets it’. Even if your brand champion is picking up the baton for an existing brand, they will need to be a manager, often one of your senior team, who have the authority and understanding to carry out this critical role.

It’s all about education

The brand champion’s first role is to encourage brand loyalty internally. The brand ethos and values need to be bought into by everyone who works in the organisation. It’s more than just a mission statement framed on the manager’s wall, it’s a way of working and it’s important that every employee feels that their organisation is worth working for.

Outside the organisation it’s about creating a strong personality for your brand, so customers, suppliers and competitors recognise it and respect it.

The brand champion is responsible for ensuring the senior team (and the Board) act in line with brand values in all the decisions that are made.  That means that the designated brand champion may need to have considerable diplomatic and persuasive skills!

The devil is in the detail

When the brand is designed it’s good practice to have a brand guidelines document drawn up – and to ensure everyone in the organisation not only knows it exists, but has a working knowledge of what it says.

Brand guidelines cover:

  • The logo design and the way in which it can be used
  • Your brand colours
  • The fonts that represent your look and feel
  • Your ethos and values you want to convey
  • The words and phrases associated with your brand

In fact, anything that is used to represent the organisation.  This is all developed to include the way your website looks, the kind of information you present and the language you use.  It sounds picky – but it all contributes to an image that is one everyone can stand behind proudly.

The brand guidelines should be a document that everyone knows where to find and actively uses to ensure every time the company brand is used it presents the right message, not just an approximation.  It says ‘This is who we are’.  

Any external agency that you work with, marketing agency, social media managers, printers, PR experts – anyone who represents your brand – should all be familiar with your brand guidelines.

Why is this important? Because it sends a subtle, but powerful, message and everything your company produces tells the same story – that your brand is professional, consistent and valuable – and stands out from your competitors.

July 15, 2020

Strengthening Your Brand Positioning

Consistency is the golden rule in brand messaging. In unprecedented situations like the pandemic, however, it may not be bad to shift the way you position your brand. Today’s customers do not hesitate to call out brands when they feel that it’s not doing anything or not doing enough for social causes.

As you navigate the post-COVID-19 economic landscape, you will find that customers are actively listening to and watching a brand’s every move. As such, it’s best to review the messaging in your direct marketing campaigns in the UK to ensure it puts your company in the best light.   

Positive Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is the extent to which your brand is perceived as different, favourable, and authoritative. If you have a strong brand positioning, customers will:

  • Easily distinguish you from your competitors
  • Believe in your credibility
  • Be more loyal to your brand

Strengthening your positioning is ever more crucial during a crisis. In April, firms have lamented the downward spiral in customer spending, and it may take a while for it to bounce back. You will have to be more diligent in winning over customers.

How you reacted to the pandemic, how fast you served customers and how fiercely you protected your employees will be remembered by your customers. Your next move matters.

Some may argue that all things come to pass and that whatever negative publicity brewed during the crisis would blow over. We, however, cannot say this for certain. This is the first time we have encountered such a widespread problem, and people will recall it for the rest of their lives.

It’s best to be proactive about the image of your brand.

Solidarity Through Public Service Announcements

The social media reach of the government and the NHS is extensive, but they would appreciate a little help. It’s good practise to echo the guidelines set by the authorities, whether those are quarantine protocols or hygiene etiquette. It may not be usual for your brand to share government-related information, but this crisis is a different matter altogether.

Take, for instance, Nike’s Play for the World. The sportswear giant launched a campaign that compared staying at home to playing for millions around the world, conveying the message that this is a chance for any aspiring athlete to make a huge impact.

If you are amplifying PSAs from the government, go the extra mile by tailoring the message to your customers. In Nike’s case, it related sports and staying indoors. If you are in the food and beverage industry, tweak the message to make it more relevant to a diner. If you are offering auto repair services, customise the message to car owners.

That said, accuracy is crucial. Make sure to cite only credible COVID-19 sources. The last thing you want is spreading misinformation about the pandemic. Not only will this potentially cause damage to those who read it, but it will also hurt your credibility.

Donating to a Cause and Create Platforms to Help

Brand giants have been donating to recovery and research efforts. Customers pay attention to these contributions, especially if it comes from small organisations. It sends a hopeful message: you may not have the resources to match the billion-dollar contributions of Facebook, Samsung and Twitter, but you are helping to the best of your abilities.

To further boost your efforts, create a platform that enables your customers to help. This way, you are not merely a passive donor, but a catalyst that unites your community towards a common goal.

These efforts not only show you are in solidarity with everyone, but that you are also willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help. After all, the entire country is fighting this crisis — we are aiming for a collective win.

Discover how we have helped clients fortify their marketing and messaging. View our case studies today.