(Synthetic) Authenticity: Build From Within
Lots of brands want to be authentic. One of the most authentic brands to me is Harley.
But what makes for an authentic brand? I would argue it is not the brand that makes claims that they are authentic. Here are some of the ways that brands can develop and render authenticity:
- Story-telling that reveals values or points of differentiation of and about the brand
- Sharing the roots or heritage of the brand
- Being involved and one with the community your brand lives in
- Having company culture that adopts the brand values like a cult!
The last point is vital: if people who work on the brand aren’t invested and don’t believe in the brand, the brand will be hurt in the long run. The idea from our recent branding class about authenticity: “build it inside out.”
The Most Interesting Creative Brief in the World
Target Audience: Anyone who is thirsty and isn’t offended by a fake Spanish accent.
Communication Objective: Use TV actor Jonathan Goldsmith to turn Dos Equis into a household name and into the brand consideration set of people across America.
Obstacles: Having a gray-haired, Don Draper lookalike convince people he chooses beer over scotch.
How Your Content Strategy Is Critical For Reputation Management
Online reputation management is the practice of both monitoring the online reputation of a person, brand, product or business, and of addressing negative mentions, either by eliminating or suppressing them, or by decreasing their visibility on search engine results pages by pushing them lower; for example, making the negative content appear on page 15 of a Google results page, rather than on page one or two.
Monitoring — and addressing — online reputation issues boils down to search engine optimization. Creating, disseminating and promoting strong, credible, positive content is pretty much the only weapon at a marketer’s disposal.
Online reputation management starts with having a content strategy and content marketing already in place.
Don’t be fooled that once content elements are in place, you can set it and forget it. Content marketing, like search engine optimization, is an ongoing process. You’ll always have to continue what journalists have long called “feeding the beast.”
It’s important to bear in mind that not all reviews will be positive, and 100 percent of customers will never be happy 100 percent of the time. Online reputation management isn’t about obliterating any negative mention or association made with your organization, rather by mitigating those negative results with strong, positive, visible, and consistent content.
Companies must be well-prepared with content, PR-savvy, and the ability to create the right kind of content and deliver it in the appropriate voice. Threatening to sue your customers is never a good strategy (just ask the RIAA). Nor is nitpicking over a logo or copyright issues when lives are — literally — at stake.
A Super Sized Strategy
Can you take the spirit of hospitality too far?
Back in 2001, while pursuing a diversification strategy in Switzerland, McDonald’s might have done just that when they opened two McHotels, actually branded as the “Golden Arch Hotels.”
While the strategical side of this brand extension (restaurant to hotel business) is questionable, the execution part likely contributed to this venture ultimately failing.
To start with, the hotels were positioned as four-star hotels, despite that people readily associate McDonald’s with affordability, and not at all with luxury. Instead of embracing that established brand equity, McDonald’s offered an all out four-star experience, along with a four-star price point and strict occupancy restrictions. For a consumer trying out the hotel, this was understandably a confusing experience.
Welcome AJ Kohn & Ginny Marvin To Search Engine Land, Marketing Land
It’s a pleasure to announce the two newest members of our Third Door Media editorial team: AJ Kohn and Ginny Marvin. Ginny joins us as a Contributing Writer and will focus primarily on covering paid advertising topics — paid search on Search Engine Land and paid social media/display…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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