Each day more eyeballs and advertising spend migrates online, intersecting with social media and technologies that place new expectations on a brand. The social revolution currently under way is as profound as the digital revolution that transformed the marketplace fifteen years ago. As such, brands that bear the pain of change and rise to the challenge will profit in the years to come, while those that resist and persist with past thinking and behavior will only accelerate their demise. Here’s a list of the top ten things a company can do to instantly humanize their brand so that it resonates within the social business marketplace.
1. Engage your community in dialogue rather than impose a corporate monologue.
2. Welcome your customer community as a co-author of your brand.
3. Define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms.
4. Choose to operate with greater transparency, authenticity and accountability for your business practices.
5. Ensure your employees understand what your brand stands for so they can be your first line of word-of-mouth advertising.
6. Revise the metrics by which you measure success to include levels of customer engagement and social capital.
7. Share insights into your brand using a wide variety of media including videos, photos and text across various social platforms.
8. Work with your competitors when the interest of the community and planet are at stake.
9. Integrate purpose into your for-profit business model through a long term commitment to a cause that is aligned with your core values and those of your community.
10. Build a culture that celebrates the success of its customers and employees so that you become a company where people want to work and a brand that people respect.
Each of these points are independently important and complimentary. While such changes require short-term pain to restructure the company, educate your employees and re-engineer customer service, over the long term these efforts will distinguish your brand in the marketplace.
To find out more about where to start, what to do and what the returns on investment are, order your copy of We First today which outlines how a humanized brand uses social media to build community, profits and a positive impact.
Reprinted from SimonMainwaring.com
Simon Mainwaring is a branding consultant, advertising creative director, blogger, and speaker. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change. Follow him at SimonMainwaring.com or on Twitter @SimonMainwaring.