Closing the Gap Between Brand Strategy and On-Brand Content

A solid brand strategy helps organizations understand who they serve, who they compete with, what stakeholders want, and how to position themselves to achieve their goals.

The challenge for many organizations today — companies, non-profits, government departments, associations — is to apply that strategy to communications across a vast array of channels in high volume and in near real-time.

Since brand strategies tend to be built on brief, focused statements or descriptors, a key question is how to translate those nuggets into full-fledged messaging that resonates with audiences and embodies the character of the organization. Doing so successfully requires effort and focus.

In our experience, there are four keys to converting a top-level brand into meaningful, on-the-ground, in-the-pipe content:

1. EXPRESS YOURSELF.
A great brand strategy pinpoints your unique value proposition, how you stand apart from competitors, etc. The content challenge is to convert those concepts into messaging your audiences can relate to. Expressing the key concepts in “we” statements — as a sort of manifesto — is often a great way to start.

2. CHANNEL YOUR INNER BRAND VOICE.
As you convert brand concepts into messaging, think about your organization’s personality. Are you gutsy, cheeky, conservative, irreverent? Choose words that reflect that. Have some fun. Play around with different ways of saying the same thing to see which fits best. Test options with an internal “focus group” of staff or a few trusted customers.

3. SOCIALIZE IT.
For your brand expression to gain traction, you need the buy-in of everyone inside your organization. Raising your team’s awareness of the brand and what it stands for — and giving them messaging tools to generate content that’s consistent with what you want to project — will help ensure it runs through all of your communications.

4. BE DISCIPLINED.
Set guidelines for ensuring content aligns with your brand tone and personality, and evaluate everything your team develops against those guidelines to maximize the value of your brand strategy and truly realize it.

If you need help translating your brand into on-brand customer/stakeholder messaging, drop us a line.