You’ve followed the first part of our MarComms Fit program and have audited (detoxed) your content. Just how fit is it for the future? What we want to create now is a new class of content. One that puts your audience first, is focussed on your business goals and is completely aligned to your brand (don’t overlook the importance of brand in your communications). This is laying the foundations for your future material and it all starts with defining who you are as a brand and then setting goals.
When you make any journey you need to know where you’re starting from and where you’re heading to. Carrying out an audit helps you know your starting point, and setting goals gives you the destination to head for.
By setting goals, you bring together your business plan and objectives with your brand identity and audience. Your brand sets those overarching principles like tone of voice and personality, whilst your objectives focus your message and tactics. They’re always interlinked – every piece of content should be working towards a key business goal and also make complete sense to the brand.
For long-term products like pensions, annuities and other investments, the relationship with your members will last longer than most marriages! It’s important your brand is recognised as trustworthy, reliable and relatable.
Firstly, let’s make sure that we have the record straight – brand is not just a logo. It’s more than a strapline, a typeface and colour palette. When thinking of brand, the visuals often jump to the forefront. However, really successful brands know that their brand identity is that golden thread which runs through everything they do. Knowing what your brand stands for is integral to creating content. But why?
Your mission, vision and values are not a tick box exercise. They are the core to your brand and its unique identity (and should infiltrate every corner of your business – internally and externally, but that’s a whole other blog).
Understanding your brand, how you define it, what makes it different, and what customers like about it are key steps in content creation. Because like your logo – your communications should be recognisable as a differentiator.
Connects – authenticity is important – being genuine helps you to move past simple transactions into building trust and loyalty. These are key to credibility and customer retention. Strong brands have vision and use their content effectively to carry their customers along with them.
Relationships – think outside of work, you meet someone, they’re nice enough and you enjoy listening to their stories. You’d meet them again – right? Next time, it’s not the same… they don’t talk about anything you find interesting and you’re left wondering if it’s even the same person! Frankly, you’re not going back again. Your communications are like that too. And forming those repetitive relationships is what makes businesses work.
Consistency – without defining your brand how can you articulate who you are and why customers should join you? Your communications become vague, muddled and lost at best, and at worse you can contradict yourself and lose the respect of customers. You can’t be an authority on everything. Brand helps you hang your hat on key pillars of content. Without brand consistency you could be scatter-gunning potentially damaging comms all over the place.
Differentiates – your brand is uniquely you and should help you stand out from the crowd. You want people to read something and know it’s from you. You need to provide something a little interesting, that shares useful information which is relevant. Strong brand in your communications ensures you’re recognised and familiar.
Strong brand communications help to align your employees and build internal advocacy, is a key influencer in attracting top talent, can impact the bottom line… but I digress…the key takeaway is the vital importance of brand in your communications.
For something as long-term as pensions, you need to stand the test of time. Your brand will help you strengthen your relationship with your customers into one that is trusting and fulfilling.