Without a clear map, you’re just driving in circles
Vague. Stagnant. Jargony. All-over-the-place. Do any of these words describe your current brand voice?
Many factors can cause a brand to lose the effectiveness of its voice—a recent acquisition, a new product or market focus, a rapidly growing workforce or just the passing of time. When these things happen, it leads to mixed and confusing messages—both inside your company and out in the market—that are inconsistent and uninspiring for customers and employees alike.
Stepping back to re-evaluate and reset your brand voice doesn’t have to be painful. But it’s essential for focusing your marketing and sales efforts and building a clear path for driving long-term business success.
It’s a longstanding debate … does brand lead value or does value lead the brand? For many start-ups or new product launches, marketing becomes the first priority of the day. The ol’ “build it and they will come” mindset takes over.
But for many companies, somehow the “it” came to mean a great pitch instead of a great product or service that provides real value to the customer. In today’s “idea explosion” economy, it’s a mad dash to get the big idea to market before someone else steals your thunder.
In building a brand, it’s less about what you do and more about why people should care.
When it comes to crafting our core brand messages—especially if we’re introducing a new product or starting a new business—it’s easy to make it all about us. This tendency is often rooted in doubt or fear. Because even when our new product or service has a boatload of science, market research and years of expertise behind it, we still battle that nagging uncertainty that inevitably causes us to over-explain ourselves.
I love working with start-ups. So much unbridled energy and so little risk aversion! It’s a dynamic and exciting time in a company’s life. You have a very small number of people wearing many hats, doing 5x the work and the word of the day is “Go!”
With so many competing priorities, it’s easy for strategic brand development to take the back burner. Or not even make it onto the stove. But that’s a mistake.