In terms of branding, what was latent in early 2020 has accelerated rapidly.
Usefulness, commitment, participation, digital transformation via PR and communication tools – the organizations that were behind at the beginning of the year are now at risk at the beginning of 2021. Measure the changes needed in this area Brand strategy is essential today.
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Here are three important resolutions and trends for brands approaching a turbulent year.
1. Resolution – Confirm its usefulness as a company and leave the self-centered “business logic”
Brands need to get out of the logic they were in before the Covid. There is a before and an after. The pandemic has accelerated trends that were already there, and we can observe a transition that consists in talking about yourself, about your own product, about its properties, to express yourself, which indicates its usefulness, benefits, the why: What do my customers concern me? For my ecosystem? You have to focus again on your right to exist.
2020 is economically difficult, there is no doubt that it will also be 2021 and it will be very complicated to sell nicely. The company must therefore be positioned as a must.
The concept of benefit cannot be reduced to the consumer, but must be understood as a whole and addressed to all target groups of the company: companies, customers and employees. It is necessary to have a unified message to strengthen it and prevent it from being watered down. The time for different stories depending on the audience is over because it is no longer a time of infertility and indigestion of news.
To accomplish this mission, media monitoring of your company’s image and the social conversations surrounding your brand can help you position yourself better. This is what our brand scouts at the media research institute Cision Insights do.
2. Dissolution – Redesign your brand communication and content strategy
Employer, company, product, consumer brand … we have to redesign a single brand message. Working on your brand is even more important than it was before as consumers seek trust. His act of buying is more and more like a vote for a certain value by the brand. This can be disastrous when, for example, corporate speeches are improved if the product doesn’t follow the same dynamic. For example, the archetype of this type of double-talk resides in the environmental commitment that is undermined when we find that the product does not follow in terms of production conditions. The brand has to be engaged and the discourse consolidated.
At the level of influencer marketing, an engaged brand increases campaign performance for 80% * of marketing managers (* Cision 2020 study: Engagement Marketing: New Brand Strategy or Real Transformation of ‘Companies?). It is very clear: in order to get involved, you have to get engaged and you can’t stay lukewarm. We are not only talking about the sales logic, the gain in influence will also be felt internally, in communities in social networks and with journalists.
This conception of a dedicated brand area will create a real unified brand platform that communicates benefits, commitments and values. It is a must in influencer marketing today.
In this sense, it will be necessary to redefine and adapt its content in order to make it more collaborative and digital and to put its usefulness and added value back at the center for consumers or customer companies. The brand must be at the center of an ecosystem that involves customers, experts, employees, etc.
One of the important examples in context is the topic of redesigning formats. The event stands still, it’s done. Brands therefore need to rethink the way of bringing people together through moments that are not just webinars, but facilitate interaction and sharing.
We can take the example of Fnac, who digitized a real meeting room. Since it is no longer possible to welcome artists into stores, the brand created the digital counterpart to continue this approach in dematerialized form, bringing customers and artists together with content and culture while maintaining the original spirit. .
We are at a time when everyone is at home behind their screen. The challenge is to create the framework to bring the brand together and to position it at the center of the discussions.
In order to redefine the content and the event strategy, monitoring is an essential tool. Every day the creativity of brands is revealed and gives us new communication practices that we should be inspired by. Many good ideas arise in different environments. The main thing is to hear the right information about your ecosystem every day, sort quality information and which we can refer to to aid your considerations. This is where 360 Intelligence technologies such as that from Cision can intervene to simplify and optimize the process.
3. Resolution – Put PR at the heart of your strategy
The journalist remains the first influencer. This applies in all industries and especially in the B2B area. It is therefore necessary to work on your relationships with the press, bloggers, and key influencers in your industry. The trust gained from an article in the media is disproportionate to the messages brands put forward through their own channels or through advertising.
PR professionals are also in the best position to incorporate the brand message, this raison d’etre, and most importantly, the brand’s positions into conversations.
This requires modernization and digitization of PR. This is no exception to the general acceleration of digital transformation across all areas that the pandemic sparked. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said: “We have seen two years of digital transformation in two months.”
On the modernization side, the joint signing of a forum with multiple actors in an ecosystem is a good example of new PR trends that underscore the importance of collaboration in an ecosystem in which the brand is positioned. 99% of the brands are not CAC40 boxes, the position of which facilitates visibility in the media. Collaborative strategies enable collective intelligence to access media spaces that could not be accessed yesterday.
On the digitization side, new PR tools are making it possible to complement the more traditional emailing of CPs to journalists by exploring new techniques like wire, which are also making PR a digital marketing channel.