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Who is your brand talking to!?

December 19, 2011

In the modern world everything IS communication – even silence… Yep! because even whenn you don’t communicate you are actually communicating – and this is an aspect that too many brands will never fully understand.

Brand communication reaches different publics using different tones and adopting different key contents.
It is quite simple to understand that a brand would set a certain tone for an advertising campaign and another one for their communication activities towards banks and financial partners. The range of activities a brand adopts to deliver their messages to their audiences is called brand communication. Brand communication can result extremely broad and use different media delivering several different key contents, it all depends on the complexity of the brand itself and on the strategy adopted to influence their key markets.

As a matter of fact, brand communication is the sum of the conversations that a brand engages with their several stakeholders – conversation is the trendiest way to describe the communication activities a brand engages with their audience, that usually is rather multifaceted and clustered.

Either you are a designer or a client, it is fundamental to understand which are the key publics – the key stakeholders – of the communication strategy you are working on or working with.

To cut a long story short, the list of your stakeholders should, more or less, look like this one:

  • Generic public
  • Clients
  • Potential clients (prospects)
  • Competitors
  • Employees
  • Commercial and strategic partners
  • Media
  • Possible investors
  • Banks
  • Prossional boards and associations
  • Industry experts
  • Supplier
  • Company board and partners.
  • Everyone involved in planning the brand communication strategy should share the strategy goals and the necessary declinations that you must adopt to reach each of the stakeholder on your list.
    They all have different expectations, different priorities, different jargons. And they will all respond differently to your message.
    Write down a key goal for each of your stakeholder. Write down what action you expect to take in response to your call. Be specific, either you are on the creative side or on the brand side.
    Fine tune a message for each one of the stakeholders on your list, the time you will spend on this task will pay back in terms of ROI and in term of success of your communication strategy.

    The communication team, usually composed of the creative agency, the head of communication – or the brand manager – and some other top/middle manager, should share and understand tones, contents, goals, approaches, media – but, more than anything else, they should know who they are talking to.

    Albeit the contents and the tone set, the communication across the stakeholders must be consistent and convey the values, the vision and the mission of the brand. To achieve this the strategy must clear but farsighted enough. Be clear and don’t just work for the immediate but be rigid enough to guarantee solidity and consistency along the timeline and across the different audiences – but be aware, an excess of rigidity rhymes with sterility.

    Web then brought a new element in the communication scenario, the voice of the consumers. With the rise of web 2.0, consumers can finally have their say and influence from outside and from the bottom the success of brand, contributing even to model the brand strategy and their positioning .
    Who is not good at listening, is not good at communicating – this is the last communication rules the present has given to us.

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