Brand Experience: Are You Delivering the Unexpected or Status Quo?
When you think about your business and marketing strategy what do you think? What first comes to mind?
Do you think about any or all of the below?
Instagram visual content
Number of LinkedIn connections or brand followers
Is Marketing 101 Getting Forgotten?
I ask because I think that many marketers and business leaders are focusing too much on social media tactics. They are worrying about increasing their influence scores, being in a million circles on Google+ and figuring out how to game the Facebook edge rank versus delivering real value to their audiences.
Bottom line, there are numerous marketers and business leaders who know better, losing grasp of business and marketing 101.
It never ceases to amaze me when I keynote speak and/or train organizations and teams of all sizes and backgrounds they still love to hear and see some of the most basic marketing content. They love the reminder of how important it is to set goals and objectives, know your audience, measure results and integrate efforts across channels, strategies and tactics.
I question how many marketing and business leaders wake up and think “how can I create the most compelling, relevant and memorable brand experience for my customers and target audience today?” The sad truth is that I think very few are thinking of such as a top priority.
Case Study with Copy Cats
I am the owner and founder of Marketing Nutz, a social brand, digital marketing, conversion optimization agency. As part of our regular social listening execution we recently conducted a study of some of our top blog posts. We dug deeper than we usually do to see who was talking about them, who was linking to them and what they were saying.
The results were somewhat shocking. We found that many people were literally leveraging our content and making it their own. I know, you can tell me that “copying is the greatest form of flattery.” I get it. However, it gets old.
We've had people on the top “Social Media Influencer” lists go so far as to blatantly copy our articles and even publish it on such sites as Huffington Post. I even busted one guy literally reading my blog posts into a video and posting them as his own content. Desperate people never cease to amaze me. Yet, these same people preach authenticity, humanization, and brand differentiation on a daily basis via the social networks.
Dare to Differentiate
What happened to creating a unique experience for your audience? What happened to differentiating you and your brand? What happened to having your own thoughts, versus copying everyone else?
What happened to knowing your customer and delivering them the highest possible value at every single brand touch point?
As we reviewed quite a few blog posts that were literally almost copied word for word from some of our posts I couldn't help but feel sorry for the writers.
Why are they spending so much time copying and enforcing another organizations brand strategy and message versus creating their own unique place in the market?
For me, having spent 15+ years in corporate America before venturing out to become an entrepreneur, I just can't fathom the justification of such behavior.
I've always enjoyed the challenge of differentiation. I love providing the unexpected. I love making my community, audience, partners and customers laugh. I love connecting with them emotionally and making them feel inspired and connected to our brand and each other in ways they never thought possible.
As you head into 2014 I challenge you to think different. I challenge you to stomp the status quo. Be better. Be bolder. Be brighter than the guy or girl next door.
Instead of waking up and reading 30 blog posts to determine what content you are going to copy, why don't you wake up and think about your customer? Why not think about you how you can help them solve their business and/or life problems in a unique way? Why not create the most relevant and unique brand experience that people will want to copy you, versus you being the copycat or creating another mundane blog post just to keep your blog traffic up?
What do you have to lose? You have a whole lot more to gain. Try it, your audience will love you for it. Your results may be simply unexpected, in a good way.