Talking it out - with customers / consumers

Awareness' is a word of measure of brand equity. Popularity is a big factor that tells of the volumes. The questions are; how many know about the brand? what's the recall quotient? what do they know about the brand?

But the harder ones are; how well do they know the brand? how familiar are they with the brand? how uncompromisingly do they seek it - repeatedly? Unflinching consumer passion for a brand arises out of absolute customer satisfaction way beyond competitive product usefulness. They include a good set of worthy attributes and associations that bonds the consumers with the brand.

Talking to consumers in creating and reinforcing awareness about the Brand; about its products, about the values it signifies and about its associations is a tough and expensive task and, may return nothing for the effort and money if tried without careful considerations. Advertisements - the way to talk to vast sets have indeed helped build brands but have also sunk many. The only way to ensure pay off is to have substantiated answers for the questions; what to talk? Whom to talk? And, how to talk?

Whom to talk?

The question sounds simple but considering it as such can cause waste of a lot of money spent on talking owing to misplaced choice of audience or harm the chances of making better with it. It calls for careful consideration of need perspectives and psychological factors that aggregate decisions well beyond the 'user-decider-influencer-payer-buyer' concept.

Optimization of branding efforts requires talking to various consumer sets that may have varying knowledge gaps and the strategic approach to it is to achieve overall efficiency in costs and effectiveness by ensuring cross communications across the sets as best as possible. In retaining consumers, which is the primary objective of branding, the task is to talk in a way to reach out to new consumer prospects through them with creativity and innovations that can cause positive WOM.

Whom-to-talk decisions also depend on specific market opportunities and objective specific programs which set the priorities and the approach.

What to talk?

Irrespective of worthiness of the product and active demand that may exist it is imperative to renew the memory of the consumers at large - of the brand and its propositions. In a competition situation, a brand with even the best product may loose out to a competitor who talks more and more effectively. That's only to say talking is almost equally important, because brands that talk more without matching products, eventually lose - well, because of talking more.

Branding is about creating demand - for the brand - and the task becomes harder when competition gets even with the products - necessitating creation of external values that can be fused into the brand and thus create competitive superiority. Talking out such carefully chosen and true values with the consumers effectively is among the tough tasks in branding.

People don't like brands; that lie, that boast and those that are not smart in articulating their message well. Inconsistency between talks and deeds cause consumer dissatisfaction. Companies that miss to say the right things and try make good their deficiencies through exaggerated and tweaked info, eventually seek out MR firms - to check what the consumers think of their brand.

How to talk?

That's tough to say! The problem is one of too many and that none offer any guarantee. Noise, the silly term of the subject is very, very hard to cut-through to be heard on any media. Strangely, for some products entry barrier is the scary-cost of media.

Forget advertising? Not really. Think hard about brand values. Think of messaging right and with every action. Advertisements can only help build on brand values but only when they really exist. Delightful product and brand experiences drive consumers to talk about it to their contacts in creating zero-cost - high-impact WOMc. A certain attitude, style and smartness befitting the brand seamlessly fused into the operations and promotions can convey brand-constructive messages that even big-buck ad campaigns can't. Get the products to talk, get the get the market to talk and get your consumers to talk.

With basic values in place communication becomes critical. Advertising is as important as a host of other communication tools. But the challenge is to be able to talk out brand values effectively and with a big cost advantage. And that is about working with innovations and superior strategies. Know how @ 'Big Leaps' and 'Power Charging'.

Ensuring unmistakable Brand Identity

Seeking attention of consumers to be able say something is only becoming harder with more and more brands wanting to talk across countless media and to the same sets of consumers. Ever expanding supernova of info has in fact grossly stunted peoples' ability to receive messages. Take any media, 99% filter out 99% of the messages - unconsciously.

To be noticed in the heap of it all, it is important to understand the way the human brain works and to follow the sense of it in creating any thing that can tell something - not just advertisements. Many brands, those with good value as well, fail to make better with their good enough efforts owing to imperfect elements of identity. It could be the very name or the way it is written or other things that go with it. It can be because of inconsistencies and inappropriateness in adopting other aspects of identity arising from operation style.

Over time, a successful and high value brand, transforms its name - to mean certain unique characteristics, proven true to it time and again by uncompromised practice in the course of its evolution. Successful branding is about achieving such personified identity.

Enhancing impact with Creativity

Creativity refers to elements of appreciable uniqueness in any piece of work. Creativity captures attention, facilitates effectiveness of communication and makes the topic linger in memory for long. Creativity triggers interest, it is thrilling, it is satisfying and it makes people make up the mind.

Elements of creativity can be built into any piece of work. It can be in small letters, brochures and any such communications. It can be in ads, in illustrations and in promotion campaigns. It can be in products, in packaging and in the details of all and every piece of work. Just about anything.

Creativity helps branding. Practiced as a culture a brand can acquire the attribute - creative and make good with it.