Brands that dare to take a stand have everything to win. But how do you create brave communication in everyday practice? Here are 9 steps to avoid pitfalls and be rewarded with lots of loyal customers. If you’re brave enough, that is. Malin Sund investigates.
It’s official: we now live in a world of belief-driven buying. Nearly 2 out of 3 people choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues, according to the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand Report.
In other words, brave communication pays off. Let these nine tips help you become a more courageous marketer.
1. Start with your core values
There’s no point in trying to make your mark with brave communication on a certain topic if it doesn’t resonate with your organisation’s existing core values. Make sure that you are well grounded before you create content that stands out.
2. Anticipate anger
If you create something that touches people and attracts attention you will also get negative responses. The only thing you should be afraid of is if nobody cares. Then you’ve wasted your time and money.
3. Advocate your cause internally
Being brave also means you must be ready to remind your entire organisation why you are taking a stand and what you’ve got to win. Attend every general meeting and repeat the phrase ‘Don’t be afraid’. Sounds simple but it demands energy and stamina.
4. Track and present the results
Be sure to monitor the effects of your brave communication and report the results back to the entire organisation. Include both brand attitudes and sales effects in your reporting. Also, ensure that expectations are correctly calibrated regarding time frames. Brave communication will strengthen your brand but rather in a year than in three weeks.
5. Diversity and representation
Is your marketing team diverse enough? Do you cover all the necessary perspectives to reach your target group with the desired message and content? Most often this is not the case. Team up with external consultants and networks to get extra perspectives on your material and campaign beforehand, so that you for example break stereotypes, not accidentally enforce them.
6. Hands off!
A crucial step is to ensure that marketing has the definite power to create and decide the content of your campaign. Keep others away. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
7. What will haters say?
You don’t want to have to back down or apologise for your brave communication. The best way to avoid that is to carefully prepare answers to every imaginable critique. Sometimes you will still get it wrong and an apology will be in order, but only do it when necessary.
8. Staff up your social media
Brave communication does take a toll. Increase your presence on social media during the campaign and make sure you have enough staff to filter and handle comments and reactions.
9. Be bold
It’s so tempting to play it safe but in order to succeed you will need to go further and create something people haven’t seen before.
If you’re not worried when your campaign launches, you haven’t been brave enough.
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