Do you remember the TV commercial for the bank where everyone was shouting at each other? Or the advertisement of soft drinks where overweight people were watching TV while sitting on the couch? Or maybe that one where a brand new car was spotted traversing the city streets, dragging itself in traffic? Of course, you don’t remember that because these ads were never created. Why? It’s simple – this kind of message fits neither the brand’s style nor the customers.
Banks are supposed to be serious and maybe even a little boring, but they should be associated with certainty, professionalism, safety, and not shouting, stress and tension. Soft drinks are something for young and active people who lead exciting lives. Cars are presented as rulers of the open highways. This vision is certainly nicer than the morning traffic flashbacks on the way to the office.
These are just a few examples of what we subconsciously process when we encounter brand communication, i.e., practically all the time. The images, words, and the general feeling it evokes must somehow “fit” into the deeper, more fundamental impressions we have about a particular company or product category. If it is not, we can immediately feel that something is… wrong.
When the communication style of a brand clashes with its core values, it confuses the consumers and there is a high chance of failure. Adequate, well-matched brand communication at every stage and in every channel is necessary to build customer trust, engagement, and, ultimately, to encourage a purchase.
Getting the “right” tone in your brand communication starts with a thorough understanding of the brand’s character and how it is to be perceived. It is important to understand that like an individual, a brand has its own personality, rules, and behavior. It sounds a bit like fun, but when creating brand communication, think about it seriously. Consider: if your company was an individual, what would it be? Serious, funny, aggressive, conservative, and maybe a bit rebellious and going against the tide? Look around – well-known brands are associated with specific characteristics and their personality is consistent. And that’s it. Your brand personality is like a compass for you, which tells you what words to use on the product packaging, in a social media post, on a banner, or in a TV advertisement. The direction you take has an impact on which target group you reach, so you need to identify your users and customers well – their needs, tastes, likes, and dislikes as well as who they are and what their aspirations are.
Think about what your audience wants. Something conventional and within “normal” boundaries? There is nothing wrong with that – a safe path is safer for a reason. Or maybe your brand is based on pushing boundaries, breaking with tradition, and creating new rules? If this is what your client appreciates the most, then send that kind of message with your brand communication. Once you understand where your customers are and what they are responding to, it’s time to start reaching out to them.
Establishing contact with recipients, even those who are open to your message, is a real challenge today, because target groups are divided according to the channels they use. There is no single way to build engagement, and your brand communication strategy should depend on where your customers get their information from, where they spend their free time, and where to find them. There are many possibilities.
From the moment you first encounter a brand, you notice it, then you associate with it – then you start to process everything about it… and treat it as an advertising message. Everyone wants something: clicks, likes, comments, buying, joining a competition, etc. We are used to being bombarded with these messages, so each of us has a mechanism of instant filtering and interpretation of content. We create scripts, abbreviations, and associations to immediately classify the brand we encounter. We often know that we look at an advertisement for cosmetics before we even read the company’s description. That is due to a specific design, colors, keywords popular among certain categories of services or products, a specific archetype. Besides – emotions, we accept that many articles are portrayed in terms of the fun and carefree side of life. Soft drinks always have a funny message, even if the product itself is not actually humorous. A can of Pepsi does not make you laugh but associating its communication with having fun is good for you, it evokes nice associations with social gatherings at which this drink appears. Mobile operator packages, car rental, salad dressing, beer, restaurants, and especially shopping can all be presented as something that is at the center of a great time.
Is it true that there is no second chance of making the first impression? However, in today’s world, where we are connected to the 24/7 network and exposed to advertising at every step, there is a good chance that we will meet a given brand many times. And every impression matters. That is why a coherent, expressive brand strategy in various media and on various platforms is so important: thanks to this, you have a chance to build recognition, create your image, consolidate associations and, above all, build relationships with your growing community of users and customers.
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