The Biggest Risk to Brand Strategy and How to Skirt It

November 3, 2020

59% of people are likely to recommend a brand if it delivers a frictionless experience across channels.

Every successful brand has an identity. Many of them lose focus on it.

As companies evolve, they face demands to diversify and branch out from core competencies. Sometimes the move is positive but each step in a new direction includes risks – diluting brand consistency and stretching marketers too far to effectively protect brand identity.

Is your team allowed to focus? These pitfalls could be hurting your brand marketing.

A zombie horde of teams and agencies

As communication channels multiply and consumer behavior changes, marketing gets siloed and more and more agencies get hired. These isolated units are more than inefficient, they create operational inconsistencies and jeopardize consistent brand identity. Handoffs equal compromises and managing through siloed teams or multiple vendors can slow the process, cause duplication and hinder brand integrity.

Stop the madness and review your current workflow process to bring siloed internal teams together. This is also the perfect time to consolidate vendors and eliminate even more handoffs. Streamlining your agency partners will:

  • Foster more collaboration and shared best practices
  • Create connected ecosystems
  • Increase market speed and agility
  • Allow the existing marketing team to do more with less

Teams that reduce multiple vendor dependency have trimmed handoffs by as much as 40% and process steps by 56%. These teams have also been able to get content in market 30% faster and are relieved by a 12% increase in first pass yield that limits costly revisions.

Leaving customers mid-channel

Even though marketers are customer-first conditioned, the way they operate puts a seamless customer experience at risk. Call it an act of desperation as modern marketing teams struggle to keep up with the expanding customer experience across multiple channels.

Today there are more than 120 communication methods and 8,000 available marketing technology solutions. Research shows that 51% of marketers can’t react to new channels, devices, trends, or competitors using their current tech.

Keeping up with all of them is impossible for any marketing team and those that try leave a discordant brand experience – full of differing voices and weak spots – determined by channel rather than the core brand.

Marketers need a better way to produce content at scale. Structuring for a content-first approach is imperative. To do this, assess process and implement a simple three-step content-first approach:

  1. Plan. Take the time up front to develop a clear, strategic plan, and define what content is needed to deliver on that plan.
  2. Produce. Create, shoot, and write content once – for all media.
  3. Deploy. Put your assets to work for you in all channels.

By being planful in your content needs upfront and deliberate in channel interactions, you’ll ensure customers interact with content that is on-brand and in the right channels.  

Getting touchy on too many touchpoints

Creating a single brand experience is essential but nearly impossible if content is being created uniquely for every single channel. So, don’t.

Instead, create content once and use it across multiple touchpoints and experiences following the content-first approach to:

  • Eliminate redundancies and inconsistencies
  • Increase speed to market
  • Improve quality
  • Reduce overhead
  • Support strategy
  • Fill communication gaps
  • Streamline accountability

Chasing the glitter and dusting the brand

New channels! New product applications! New campaigns! There’s always a shiny, new object to grab the marketing team’s attention. And teams that are automatically compelled to use them often leave the bigger picture behind.

Before your team gets caught up in the hype of the next “can’t miss” idea, figure out whether this latest fascination is really aligned with your brand. If it is, take the time to determine how it can supplement the larger brand experience, instead of diverging as a new tangent.

If the answers don’t line up, move on without it.

The cult of the new is an old-fashioned bad idea

If the brand is strong, the marketing team likely already has a pool of assets that can – and sometimes should – be repurposed instead of being recreated. These assets can also provide a starting point for new content, allowing teams to pull from existing, successful resources instead of starting from nothing every time.

A thorough content audit will provide you a comprehensive understanding of the assets you already have. Use the audit to:

  1. Organize these assets logically
  2. Assess which assets can be reused and repurposed
  3. Identify which need a refresh/resurface or a complete recreation

Worrying about now rather than next

Is the marketing team thinking big picture or is it constantly trapped in the here and now? The latter mentality hinders the brand’s evolution and relevance.

Step away from this fatal norm and assess your operation’s overall efficiency. Get this – 70% of marketers report they lack a consistent or integrated strategy. A further 62% said having no standardized strategy prevents quality content.

Spend less time in the minute and more in the months.

Trusting content creation to a reliable, experienced, end-to-end agency partner allows marketing teams to expand capabilities and keep focus on the brand while the partner executes on the team’s immediate needs and expectations. While they’re doing that, return to your team’s rightful role as the stewards that guide the brand and move the organization forward with a thorough, focused strategy.