Tip of the month
Welcome to our inaugural branding tip of the month! Once every four weeks (*looks up synonym for month – finds nothing*) we’ll be looking to dish out a little advice on what we see as a key part of the branding process and what should be done to expand upon it.
With that brief introduction out of the way, and without further ado, here starteth the first tip:
There you go – it’s as simple as that.
Thanks for stopping by.
OK, we’ll elaborate.
To put it bluntly, no one will give a proverbial hoot if you’re bland and boring. ‘Interesting’ comes in many forms, but the fact is you can't make a difference if you're indifferent.
No, we don’t mean shave your head and embrace follicular degradation; we mean be confident in what you’re going to say.
Part of this is saying something new, or something different; something challenging, or something unexpected.
Reeling out mundane, run of the mill commentary is unlikely to get you noticed.
Some of the best brands out there take a lead or take a stance and stick to it.
This might be as straightforward as broadcasting your ethical standards. However, this is becoming a fairly common go to. Taking a stand against climate change or hunting will win you plaudits – but not necessarily much attention. Try to find a niche (or at least a new) angle to champion, if possible.
Of course, one of the downsides of taking a stance is that you can run the risk of polarising your audience. Controversial messages tend to do that, but if you actually believe the message then what’s the harm in that? Ultimately, you’ll be drawing engagement and support from likeminded people who are prepared to endorse your brand.
If we look at a recent example – albeit one that strays slightly from branding per se – Pimlico plumbers has been vocal in its opposition to Brexit; so far in fact, that its HQ in London has a large banner stating, “B****cks to Brexit!” hanging over it. Now, you couldn’t really do any more than that to pin your colours to the mast.
The risky business with this, of course, is that the Brexit vote was a close one. Pimlico Plumbers could, arguably, be alienating 52% of its customer base. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Being a London based firm (where around 59.9% of voters opted for remain, with some boroughs as high as 70% in favour) will it actually risk estranging the customer base? Probably not. It’s also a ‘high end’ plumbing brand, so much of its custom comes from a subset that was less likely to vote to leave. This is something that was no doubt considered before becoming so vocal in its opposition. If 90% of its audience was opposed to its message, it simply wouldn’t have done so, no matter how strong its sense of feeling.
To get back to our earlier point though – Pimlico Plumbers has espoused a message that’s got it noticed.
You don’t have to be so overt in your messaging, but taking a stance is key. If you build your brand on solid foundations and core principles, you’ll evoke empathy from your audience; something that works wonders in building a brand.