4 Keys To Linking Customers And Brand Purpose

Nigel HollisApril 10, 20144792 min

I honestly can’t remember how I came to see this video. It features Katy Woodrow-Hill, the head of planning at Dare, describing her top four tips on becoming a ‘doing’ brand. But I thought the ideas were well worth repeating here.

I have amended the order in which the tips are given for what I hope is a good reason. One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make is to focus on what they want to do or say without connecting it to the brand’s purpose, the difference the brand is intended to make in people’s lives. You need to start there and work out how to best publicize the brand.

1. Make what you do relevant to what you stand for
Good works are great in their own right, but if you want get the most out of your investment then you need to tie the actions back to what the brand stands for. The obvious example of a brand that does this superbly well is Red Bull. The brand invests in a myriad of different sports and events but they are all tied back to the idea that Red Bull uplifts mind and body.

2. Make what you do relatable
Assuming that your brand can make a difference in people’s lives, then the key question is whether what it stands for – the promise, positioning, personality – resonates with the target audience. What you do has to mean something to them, it has to resonate.

3. Make what you do simple for people to understand
So true but so often ignored in practice. “People will figure it out,” has to be one of the most over-used excuses for poorly executed creative. One time in a hundred the audience might be so intrigued that they want to figure out what is being shown or said. On the 99 other occasions, they simply click away to something of more interest.

4. Make it describable so that they can easily share it with someone else
If people find your brand worthwhile, they will want to talk about it. Help them do so. Give them a simple, memorable description of what makes your brand meaningfully different, something that might give people pause for thought. Think of the description as a slogan for the digital age.

Katy Woodrow-Hill’s top tips may be simple, but then essential truths usually are. Maybe you have some thoughts on why so many brands do not follow these principles?

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Nigel Hollis

One comment

  • James R. Halloran

    April 11, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Great tips! I definitely think number 3 should actually be number 1. Too many people think the general public will be intrigued to find out who and what they are. GoDaddy did this for a while with their risque TV commercials. It worked eventually but only after a few years’ time.

    Making something easily describable and relatable is a lot harder than it sounds, but it’s important to realize you shouldn’t be trying to relate to everyone. Red Bull does this well by catering to the “crazy, daring” crowd. But not everyone relates to that. I think that’s also important to keep in mind.

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