We all know them. Those brands that look like they are stuck in time. Their colors don’t look current, neither does their style, typography, and imagery. Their messaging looks like it was written for a different era and their packaging… Well, please don’t even get me started. Now this is an extreme example, but there are many less egregious instances out there. While we all know companies who suffer from a time warp affliction, even brands that feel relevant to today’s customers can fall into the trap of appearing stale in the fast-paced, ever-evolving, digital marketing world. Often a quick review of a brand’s social media pages can be the tell-tale sign of a brand that needs a refresh. The good news is that this is one of the easiest platforms for staying relevant because of the simplicity in updating your messaging. Here are 3 ways to identify if your brand needs a present-day refresh.
1. Share your brand’s why
Most brands have an underlying purpose beyond just making money. For some, that purpose is to improve the lives of their clients through greater convenience or ease. For others, it may be to offer a better product at a better price. Social media is an ideal network for exposing your brand’s “why” to the masses, because social media breeds engagement. Think of how many people your brand can connect with based on improving their life through ease and convenience. All busy professionals can instantly relate. The same can be said for improving someone’s life by offering a better product at a better price. People who are budget conscious will take note. Both are examples of the why behind your product or service. The purpose of your brand is an important identifier and should be quite clear in your social media marketing. If not, your brand feels very one-sided or transactional which is not at all in alignment with today’s customers. Today’s consumers gravitate toward brands that make their purpose clear. Take a look at Walmart’s social media pages and you will see a brand that consistently shares their purpose through customer-centric marketing. Now is a good time to see if your brand’s why is clearly defined in your social media messaging. If you can’t really see it, or it seems inconsistent, then it’s time for a brand refresh.
2. Create emotional connections
Isn’t it ironic that in a high technology world, what most people crave more than anything else is connections to other people? Blame it on the aforementioned, but social media has become a place where people come to connect. This isn’t necessarily news, and that is why it is so surprising that few brands actually focus on creating connections with their target audience on social media. Most brands concentrate on one-way dialogue and a deluge of product shots, and call it brand awareness. The best way to create brand recognition is to stand out from the noise by making your audience feel like part of something bigger. Brands such as Guinness have done this by creating a community around female athletes. While this may feel disconnected from the brand, it is actually in alignment with their beer which has specific attributes for endurance athletes. This is smart branding because it not only separates the brand from all other beers on the market, but it also creates community and an emotion connection with their target audience. Telling athletes’ stories ignites an emotional response because it is something that many can identify with. While community on social media tends to get talked about a lot, very few actually execute this with their posts consistently. Community doesn’t mean that you respond to comments (that is a given) or that you create a forum, albeit both are effective tactics. Rather, community is when a brand uses their purpose to create an emotional connection regularly that results in the fostering of a tribe. If your brand is using boilerplate or rote brand-speak on social media, look into reenergizing your brand.
3. Be of today
One of the biggest reasons to look to a brand reinvigoration is when your brand feels out of sync with the culture of the times. Appearing to be off trend or out-of-date is a great way to lose your brand’s appeal. Don’t let this happen. We certainly understand the challenge of staying consistent with your brand while also responding to the latest happenings in today’s environment, but despite the difficulty, your brand needs to stay malleable to the real time environment. There are moments when the collective psyche is focused on a recent event, trend or occurrence. That means your brand needs to factor these societal episodes into your strategy as well by speaking to them in your social media strategy. In order to effectively do this, your brand must be able to bend with the changing landscape. That doesn’t mean that your brand should react to every news cycle, but rather, your brand needs to understand what is top of mind with your customers and respond accordingly. If your brand never seems congruent with the conversations of the day then begin revitalizing your brand now.
The truth is that it is easy for your brand to get tired. Often as business owners we breathe a sigh of relief when our brand is launched thinking we have it all covered, but in actuality the work has just begun. Use these tips to review your brand’s essence on social media and you’ll quickly be back in vogue.