Branding

3 Step Guide to Staying True to Your Brand by @iamronii

true to your brand
Photo Credit: European Parliament via Compfight cc

by Ronii Bartles | Featured Contributor

I’m a football girl. Always have been. And I’ve said that it’s because I’m from WV and that’s all we have. Well, that and apparently a whole lot of snow right now. So when it gets to be Super Bowl time I’m all kinds of crazy. I don’t really have a ‘pro’ team but I love the game. But I’m in marketing so the Super Bowl is to advertising what the Oscars is to films. I’m always torn as to when to go to the bathroom because I want to see it all. Before you’re all, ‘Great. Another Super Bowl ads post.’ I’m not going there. Well, a little. But there is a method to my madness.

You see, my firm practices this thing called operations marketing, which you probably have never heard of. It’s where we look at your business operations and create brand strategies and marketing messages out of what you are already doing well. Essentially it is rooted in branding and telling your ‘why’ story. And as I was watching the Super Bowl this year, I noticed that so many companies were creating creative just to create it. Many of them were disconnected from its brand. Or maybe they were trying to re-invent the brand. I’m all for re-branding if it is still true to you. But is the Super Bowl really the place to do that?

This year the company that I think totally knocked it out the park was esurance. Their brand story is saving money… for themselves and for their clients. esurance bought the first spot after the Super Bowl. It saved them $1.5 million and they stated that they were passing that savings along to its customers. It was an entertaining commercial too. It was smart with a capital s. I wish I had thought of that. They stuck to the brand and owned it. Like REALLY owned it.

Here’s a quick 3 step guide to being true to your brand and just owning it.

  1. Figure out what the core message is for your brand. If you have to tell someone in 10 words or less what your brand stands for, what would you say? This is a true test here. And might be the hardest question you can answer. You have to be really concise with it.
  2. Create an Idea Factory for that message. Start brainstorming quick messages and fun ways to get that brand message across to your audience. Put them all in one place that you can go back to when its time to run campaigns. You can keep this electronic or go ‘old school’ and use a pen and notebook. But all the ideas must relate back to your brand’s core message.
  3. Design the creative. Everyone’s marketing platforms are different. Some use digital, some use social, some use print. Personally, I’m a believer of the mix because everyone consumes information differently. But now is the fun part of taking your core brand message and the fun ideas you had to get the message across and putting personality to it.

See? It’s not that hard. Although I know sometimes it can be. But if you love what you do and are passionate about it, you’ll get it. Set aside some time to strategically think about how you want the world to view your brand and get together some fun people, open a bottle of wine or a 6 pack and let the ideas flow. Just make sure not to get too tipsy that you forget to write those ideas down.

Does your marketing messages and campaigns reflect who/what your brand is? What are some ways that you stick with your brand?

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Ronii Bartles – Marketing & Branding Expert from Bartles & Associates – Charleston, SC

Ronii Bartles HeadshotRonii is Bartles & Associates’ self-proclaimed Chief Rockstar. She has a whole list of amazing (but slightly boring) credentials like a Bachelor’s Degree from Shepherd University, a MBA from The Citadel, The Lowcountry Business Network Advisory Board Member and is President of the Charleston American Marketing Association, where she was also a 2012 Marketer of the Year Finalist. She loves to go around telling people that she actually is one of the Most Influential Women in Business in Charleston and a 40 Under 40 winner because the Business Journal told her so. Professionally, Ronii grew up in the marketing research industry and has been Director of Operations at ARG and W5. She took all that experience and started Bartles & Associates and roniibartles.com where Ronii and her team work with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses on developing branding and marketing strategies around what they do best, which they lovingly call Operations Marketing. B&A helps businesses uncork their potential by uncovering their WHY and then crafting that message into concise, memorable brand stories and marketing messages. Ronii is an active volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over twelve years, and won Big Sister of the Year in 2008. Originally from West Virginia (you can take the girl out of WV but you can’t take the WV out of the girl), she loves beer, college football (Let’s GOOO Mountaineers!), pizza, jeans and a t-shirt, and designer high heels. You can connect with Ronii on Twitter or LinkedIn or email her.

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