Frequently Asked Questions on Brand Messaging

Brand messaging is critical to the health of your business. Here’s a closer look at some of the most commonly asked questions about the subject.

Every business owner wants to build deep, long-lasting relationships with customers. Brand messaging is the mechanism by which this is accomplished. Every communication an enterprise engages in should be done with proper brand messaging in mind.

When done right, it inspires, informs, persuades and catalyzes audiences. When done poorly, it can do serious reputational harm.

Now that we’ve understood the stakes involved, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common questions business owners have about brand messaging.

Brand Messaging FAQ

1. I’m a brand messaging neophyte — can you explain what it means in two sentences?

Sure. Brand messaging is the language, voice, tone, and ideas that a business uses to convey its core value proposition and company values.

2. Can you give me an example?

Absolutely. The classic Nike slogan “Just Do It” is a famous example of potent brand messaging. It distills the company’s ethos into three unforgettable words.

3. What are the qualities that make brand messaging effective?

The same qualities that make interpersonal communication effective, for the most part. Great brand messaging resonates with audiences and builds a connection. It inspires, catalyzes audiences into action and engenders a sense of personal identification with the brand. It’s how lifestyle brands are created and lifelong customers are made.

4. What happens when brand messaging goes wide of the mark?

If you’re lucky, audiences simply won’t respond to it. In situations where brands badly misjudge their voice or misunderstand their audience, poor brand messaging can alienate people, anger them, and turn them into another brand’s loyal customers.

5. So how does one create effective brand messaging?

Here’s where things get a bit more challenging. First, brands need to identify and segment their audience. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re just throwing darts in the dark. Do research, identify your audience, and query them. What motivates them? What matters to them? How do they engage with brands?  By understanding the answers to these questions, brands can then draw a line between their customers’ motivations and their own products and services, their values, and their unique value proposition. 

6. What else is important?

One word: Differentiation. When you’re developing a brand messaging strategy, it’s natural to review what your competitors are doing. After all, you’re targeting the same audience, so there should be some overlap between your messaging strategy. That said, it’s critical to differentiate your product or service. Sometimes you can accomplish this through features or innovations, but in many industries, it’s the branding itself that is the primary differentiator. So while you want your messaging to be informed by what your competitors are doing, you don’t want to follow what they are doing. Develop your own unique, differentiated voice and message.

7. Any other tips?

Yes. Consumers are inundated by advertising and marketing messages, so it’s important to develop language and themes that stand out. Seek to be compelling and memorable, rather than aiming for a bland, middle of the road voice designed to appeal to the broadest possible demographic. It’s also critically important to be clear and concise — audiences will disengage immediately if you’re sending confusing messages. Place the audience at the center of the story and explain to them exactly what your brand can do for them. Make sure that your messaging comes through in every bit of content or communication you author, and always ensure your brand speaks in a unified and consistent voice.

Finding the Right Brand Messaging Agency

At BIGEYE, we’re experts when it comes to resonant brand messaging. Whether you’re looking for an innovative approach to brand video or new, tech-forward ways to reach your desired audiences, we can help.

Contact us today to learn more about what a sophisticated brand messaging strategy can do for your firm.

Read More

The Consumer Experience: Brands Overpromise and Under-Deliver

A brand strategy agency is imperative to building a brand that has its own identity and doesn’t fall into the stream of overpromising and under-delivering.

You don’t have to run a brand strategy agency to understand the importance of the customer experience. Creating a personal connection with audiences through meaningful experiences is the gold standard of modern marketing and its value is repeated ad nauseam.
Yet simply because we all pay lip service to this notion doesn’t mean we’re actually getting it accomplished. Many brands are still falling woefully short in terms of delivering a compelling cross-channel consumer experience.

So what’s the key to unlocking these sought after, but rarely realized, customer experiences?

Building a more human brand.

Taking your brand’s pulse

According to the most recent Forrester U.S. Customer Experience Index, there has been a minimal improvement in the overall quality of consumer experiences. Think about this: Though brands and their CMOs line up to testify to the necessity of great customer experiences, the actual customers are deeply unimpressed.

Clearly, something is fundamentally amiss. Put simply, brands are focusing far too much on product experience and much too little on the human experience. If you want to connect at a deeper level, you need to move beyond the way people interact with products in a narrow use case sense, and instead consider the full range of feelings, desires, hopes, aspirations, etc. that are connected with any product or service.

We certainly have the right tools at our disposal. Today’s digital technologies facilitate the kind of close engagement with audiences that would have been unthinkable just a decade or two ago.

A date with implementation

So how can these tools be deployed in service of more human-centric experiences? Consider the following:

We like to think we are rational creatures.

The truth, however, is that emotion guides us more often than not. A few years ago, leading neuroscientist Antonio Damaso made a pioneering discovery. Damaso studied subjects who had experienced serious damage to the part of the brain where emotions are generated. Everyone he studied had an unusual commonality — they struggled mightily with even the simplest decision-making. Brands need to understand the profound role emotion plays in how consumers respond to marketing messages and optimize accordingly.

The best ideas and intentions are often utterly lost in execution.

It’s one thing to conceptualize human experiences; it’s another thing entirely to deliver them effectively. Forward-thinking brand strategy agencies grasp the importance of digital tools in this process. According to Gartner, 63% of CMOs are expecting an increase in their innovation budget. If you want to deliver personalized experiences, you need to build the architecture to do so.

The consumer/brand relationship is being utterly transformed.

But not every brand is at the same place on the acceleration curve. The days of deploying one size fit all marketing, selling a product and periodically keeping in touch with consumers are long gone. Today, the most successful brands build communities; they encourage constant digital interaction and engagement; they facilitate a continuous relationship that integrates directly into a consumer’s lifestyle. These brands aren’t merely companies — they are, in many ways, an extension of the consumer themselves.

The takeaway

Digital technologies have created tectonic shifts in the ways brands sell and market their products and services. The best brand strategy agencies understand these changes and help position brands for maximum competitive advantage.

If your existing marketing approach needs to be upgraded with a more human-focused, digitally powered approach, please contact our brand specialists today.

How to Build Trust Through Community Bank Marketing

Leverage the unique opportunities of a small bank to drive effective community bank marketing strategies that will turn your small branch into big business.

Many agencies and marketers like to think that finance is a big mystery—an animal all its own with completely different rules. In some ways it is, but in most ways, it isn’t. Effective branding gains attention and keeps it; just like it does in every other industry. Community bank marketing is very similar to small business marketing, it just calls for a more sophisticated twist.
Here are 3 key concepts for building trust in small banks:

1. Get personal, to an extent

Small banks have the unique opportunity to build strong interpersonal relationships. To not just become a brand or company name, but to become Sammy, the helpful man at the front desk, who can help you get what you need. He knows your name and asks about your son’s baseball games.

Let empathy drive your services so that your consumers feel valued. Show them directly how your customer relations can brighten their day while your services exceed every expectation. Leveraging expertise and friendly service, you can turn your brand into a mentor for each and every customer.

Find an agency that understands the delicate differentiators’ in voice and branding to craft the perfect balance for your community. Drive real results with community bank marketing that cares just the right amount.

2. Leverage digital effectively

Digital is invaluable to community bank marketing because it’s a great way to establish one-on-one interaction and build strong relationships. Digital marketing for banks works a lot like digital marketing for anyone else but should be held to a higher standard. For example, a clothing company or salon should have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts; while banks should be on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, but never Instagram. It’s just too casual.

The right digital strategy in banking is all about finding your line of sophistication and building that ever-important trust. Use digital in conjunction with strong branding to build effective consumer relationships. Post community views and common local phrases to evoke nostalgia and build understanding. Using effective bank marketing strategies, your brand can become a community pillar.

Represent your brand as a member of the community and follow through. Post photos and short videos of the front office team to build a connection before a customer even sets foot through your doors. Show the management team doing community service and attending local events, embody your brand through human interaction. Demonstrate a neighborly connection to develop a real personality.

3. Embrace ever-evolving technology

Maneuverability is a great advantage that small banks have over large institutions. Every day enhanced technology is being developed in all aspects of every industry—including banking. Due to the security necessary throughout the banking process, it can take years to implement any one new process across an entire large bank. For a community bank, that same process can take just a few months.

Incorporate cutting edge technologies into your services to provide convenience as well as modernity for your customers. Leverage your agility and technological know-how in your brand’s bank marketing ideas. This will draw in young consumers looking for a better way to the bank as well as the older markets that simply enjoy the advantages offered by new technologies.

More than a novelty, technology can cut your company’s operational costs while allowing for more personal service. Incorporating a one-on-one, on-demand experience for consumers to interact with your brand without having to walk in. Utilize effective customer service in combination with technology to add value to your services. Remember, it’s nice to like your bankers but your bottom-line is built on trust, experience, and results.

The takeaway

Small banks have a lot more going for them than meets the eye. Make sure your brand’s target audience understands all that your company brings to the table through genuine connection built the right way, digital that effectively reaches consumers and furthers that connection, and unique offerings that only smaller institutions can accomplish.

It can be a lot to manage yourself. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an advertising agency that understands the demands, opportunities, and limitations that your company faces. When you’re ready to market your bank on the next level, get in touch with our community bank marketing professionals.

Want Your Next Marketing Campaign to Be Great? Demand Originality

Take a stance alongside a creative brand consulting firm to strategically place you at the intersection of originality and personality.

The phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun” is pretty old itself — it’s the source is the Book of Ecclesiastes. Yet that ancient proverb is still relevant today, as it’s also the lament of just about every creative director and content editor. This sea of monotony does have one upside: Businesses that pursue creative brand consulting to help generate original ideas will earn a significant competitive edge.

The value of originality

Our world is a derivative one. If you need proof, just look at Hollywood’s endless procession of remakes and superhero franchises, the music industry’s love of cover songs, and the advertising industry’s tendency to copycat and mimic. Hey, it’s easier to copy something that works rather than developing original material, right?

Sure, it’s easier — but it’s also much less effective. The law of diminishing returns kicks in, as the third and fourth versions of a great new idea always have much less impact. Given that we’re all surrounded by advertising, we’ve become inured to it in many ways. If brands want to truly engage an audience and snap them to attention, they need to be boldly original. They need creative brand consulting.

One great example of this is a recent ad campaign from Farmer’s Insurance. The insurance industry isn’t particularly exciting, but companies within the sector have found some success by creating standout characters (the AFLAC duck, Flo from Progressive, etc.).

Farmer’s has employed the Oscar-winning character actor J.K. Simmons to much the same effect recently. In a recent campaign, Farmer’s created a 60-second ad based on “Oh, the Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss, with Simmons providing the narration.

The commercial had a special hook, however: Farmer’s took actual claims from customers and reimagined them as Dr. Seuss stories, complete with whimsical rhyming narration. Farmer’s and its ad agency partner RPA took added pains to ensure the end product adhered closely to Seussian style, both in terms of style and quality.

The result was deeply clever incorporation of the core business (insurance claims coverage) into a larger creative message that emphasized experience and exploration. To top things off, the ad was released on the 115th birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Why originality is the ultimate differentiator

The next time you’re consuming content, take some time to really watch the ads and marketing message you’re being served. You’ll find that a handful of them are fantastic — and the majority are utterly forgettable.

Forgettable is one of the worst things you can say about an advertisement. So why do so many brands settle for mediocrity? Part of it can be ascribed to the agencies with which they’re partnering. It’s not easy generating original ideas, and generating these ideas to work within the specific context on an ad campaign is even more difficult. This means agencies have an incentive to settle for “OK” when they should be aiming much higher.

It’s the responsibility of businesses to demand original and highly engaging ideas. While this work isn’t easy, the right creative brand consulting firm can deliver the kind of deeply original advertising and marketing content that audiences find impossible to ignore.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we understand the value of originality — and we have the resources and talent to take advantage of it. We specialize in creating advertising and marketing campaigns that engage audiences and deliver maximum ROI for brands.

If you’d like to hear more about the power of truly original work, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

A Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Services

If you’re a small to mid-sized business owner, you almost certainly don’t have enough time in the day to get everything finished to your satisfaction. Often, the day-to-day operational demands that come with running a business make it difficult to focus on the broader strategic picture — something that is essential for growth.

In order to create a truly high-performance enterprise, it’s sometimes necessary to contract with outside agencies for help with key creative and technical tasks. By working with a trusted agency, business owners don’t have to work outside the limits of their own expertise and have more time to focus on their own high-value tasks.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important services offered by today’s top creative agencies.

Marketing research

In order to validate their hypotheses, marketers need to collect hard data, and this comes in form of data collected by a marketing research agency. This research may occur through focus groups and brand awareness studies.

Many brands partner with a marketing research agency to help complete these tasks and conduct primary market research. By working with a consumer insight agency or focus group research company, brands can gather the kind of data that helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of their products and services, while also better understanding their target market.

Additionally, a usability testing company can help a company determine how an intended audience interfaces with a product or service, while Florida research companies specializing in market data can assist with consumer profile services and qualitative research services. This gives their clients a broader picture of who their audience is, and how those audiences are responding to products, services and marketing campaigns.

Creative services

Creative work is the heart of effective marketing and branding. Whether it’s print advertising, sales materials design, collateral design or annual report design, creative work is the conduit through which audiences and brands connect.

Most small to mid-sized businesses don’t have the budget or expertise to deploy an in-house creative team. That’s not an insurmountable hurdle, however; by contracting with a copywriting company, outdoor marketing agency, tradeshow display company or packaging design agency, brands can realize their creative vision and better connect with their customers.

Digital marketing

We’ve reached a point where the terms “marketing” and “digital marketing” are almost interchangeable. Most of us live, work, communicate and play online — which means that businesses need to do their utmost to connect with people in the digital realm.

This is accomplished by the following techniques such as email and content marketing and various forms of pay-per-click marketing services or display advertising services. By working with a digital marketing consultant, a content marketing agency or an email marketing agency, brands can help ensure that they reap the rewards of a digital approach.

A new and critically important trend is voice technology. Given the staggering adoption numbers for smart speakers and digital assistants, forward-thinking brands should also consider pursuing voice development services from an Alexa app company or a top Florida digital marketing company.

Strategy

Great marketing campaigns all begin with a smart, overarching strategy. This strategy should encompass everything a business does in terms of marketing creation and distribution, including various content types and channels.

Marketing data analysis conducted by a marketing strategy agency can play a key role in this process, as it provides a sound foundation on which to build campaigns and test assumptions. Businesses may also wish to focus on more niche areas by employing an audience segmentation consultant or social media strategy company, both of which can play an integral role in helping brands identify and engage with ideal audiences for their products and services.

Today, a comprehensive marketing strategy must cover a wide variety of channels, reflecting the nature of how audiences live, work and consume content today. This means that working with a multi-channel marketing company that specializes in this kind of approach is often a smart idea.

Media buying

When it comes to good marketing, distribution is just as important as creation. You can have the most compelling campaign in the world, but if nobody sees it, what good does it do?

That’s where media buying enters the equation. The right media strategy services or media planning agency can help ensure that your marketing content gains maximum exposure through every relevant channel, including print and TV.

Digital, too, is an important piece of the media puzzle. A digital media buying agency that specializes in this channel can help ensure your campaign gains traction, while an attribution modeling company can provide you with measurable data that confirms whether or not particular marketing or advertising approach is effective.

In today’s changing world, it’s also important to ensure that your media campaigns reflect the viewpoints of all consumers, which means that it makes sense to work with a multicultural marketing agency that has the perspective to connect with all audiences.

Web development services

Maintaining fully-functional websites with smooth and intuitive user experiences should be a key priority for just about any business. Websites serve as the public face of a business and also often play an important role in generating revenue. If a business can’t be trusted to offer the public a professional and reliable website, prospective customers may wonder about the quality of the products and services they will receive.

However, not every business is equipped to maintain a reliable, user-friendly digital presence. In such cases, it makes sense to partner with a web design company or website development company that can handle every aspect of creating and maintaining digital properties. Additionally, a good content management company can help ensure that businesses place high in organic search rankings by following the principles of search engine optimization and content marketing.

Continuity is also critically important, as downtime can result in lost revenue and angry customers. An Orlando web development firm offering website maintenance services can help local businesses ensure that their digital properties suffer from minimal technical interruptions.

By partnering with top Florida web design consultants, local businesses can ensure that their online presence serves the needs of their customers, while also attracting new business thanks to the compelling design and reliable functionality.

Branding

In order to be successful in a highly competitive landscape, businesses need a way to differentiate their products and services — and that’s where the art of branding comes into the picture. Branding agency services and brand naming services help companies establish compelling brands by developing product names, packaging, and other key design elements. For example, a business may choose to hire a logo design company as part of its overall branding strategy.

A brand story agency can also help businesses create a compelling brand narrative, one that communicates the values and vision of an enterprise to its audience. Brand messaging services can also help a company convey their value proposition to consumers while communicating a message that inspires, intrigues and motivates potential customers.

Branding, when done properly, should inform how a business communicates on every level. Hiring a brand strategy firm, or devising a brand style guide, can help brands ensure that their public-facing content maintains a consistent brand voice. Meanwhile, the practice of brand positioning defines precisely how the products and services a business sells differ from that of its competitors.

When looking at creating a new branding approach from the ground up, companies will often seek out the help of a brand strategy firm. These are full-service agencies that can help with all aspects of a new branding program, or the rebrand of an existing company, product or service.

Video production and marketing

Roughly a decade ago, businesses were in scramble mode to accommodate society’s shift to mobile devices. Within a very short period of time, the smartphone and tablet transformed with the way people live, work and consume content. Today, we’re experiencing another major shift, this time centered around video.

Because people (particularly younger demographics) prefer consuming video over other formats, the creation of marketing and promotional videos has become an essential marketing service.  By partnering with a video production company or video editing company, brands can reach new audiences and deliver the type of compelling content that leads to successful marketing campaigns.

Social media platforms, of course, are a powerful distribution channel for video content. By working with a social media video company, brands can leverage the expertise of these agencies and greatly increase the reach and engagement of their video-focused social campaigns.

For businesses seeking top video production, Florida is an ideal place to be located. Along with sunny weather and beautiful scenery, Florida is home to some of the world’s best creative agencies. This means that brands in the market for a corporate video production company to lead their latest campaign are perfectly situated.

Social marketing

Social media marketing services are one of the fastest-growing agency marketing offerings. That’s for good reason: The reach and power of social media are greater than ever, and social media advertising services are subsequently in high demand.

Yet while the right social strategy can pay enormous dividends, many businesses simply lack the experience and expertise to execute a high-level social media marketing campaign. In such cases, these businesses should strongly consider working with a social content agency or social media management company.

These agencies have the specialist skill to create high-performance social marketing campaigns that gain serious engagement among users. Social media can be a powerful (and cost-effective) amplifier for a brand. Yet without the right strategy, even the best content will be ignored.

To ensure that all company social media services are on point, businesses without an internal team of experts should strongly consider working with an agency, one well-versed in search optimization and audience-building techniques.

Influencer marketing

One only has to glance at Instagram today to see the power of influencer marketing in action. Social media influencers and brands have formed a symbiotic and mutually profitable relationship, as popular platform users use their followings and personal brands to highlight sponsored brand products.

Yet cracking the code of this emerging world of influencers isn’t always easy for established brands, many of which lack social media expertise. An influencer marketing agency (sometimes called an “influencer management agency” can help fill this shortcoming by pairing brands with the right influencers.

Most brands find influencer marketing to be highly effective, as it connects their products and services with people who have dedicated and highly motivated online followings. This is one reason why working with an influencer marketing strategy agency has become so popular in recent years.

Public relations

The work of a public relations agency is primarily centered on two objectives: Ensuring positive press and public perception, and getting a brand’s message out into the public sphere. A company may choose to do this by scheduling interviews, sending out press releases and other such services.

Because public relations is vitally important work, it often makes sense for businesses to use an outside agency with specialist skills. A media relations agency can help ensure harmonious interaction with the press, while a crisis communications company can step into the breach and manage public perceptions during a period of turbulence.

Press release services and media training services are two other functions often filled by a public relations agency. Businesses seeking help with such tasks can reach out to a Florida PR agency, or an Orlando PR company, for assistance.

The takeaway

The range of services offered by creative agencies has grown significantly. Today, a full-service Florida marketing agency can help businesses with all of the services listed above, allowing its owners to free up much-needed time — and benefit from the deep experience and specialist skill offered by modern marketing experts.

5 Secrets to Authentic Branding in an Era of Declining Trust

A generation ago, authenticity perhaps wasn’t a key strategic goal for your typical marketing firm or brand story agency. That’s not because it isn’t important; it’s simply because yesterday’s audience was less wary and more trusting.

Survey after survey shows that Millennials and Generation Z are more skeptical of ads than older demographics. This development is occurring against a backdrop of declining trust in business — the Edelman Trust Barometer reports that 48% of U.S. citizens report having trust in corporations. That’s a relatively steep decline of 10 points since 2017.

Not only are modern audiences more skeptical and less likely to automatically trust, but they are also more sophisticated and discerning. In an age where data is currency, people are beginning to take a closer look at how advertising and marketing work — and who truly benefits. 

The environment makes authenticity essential. Brands and any brand story agency that can connect in a meaningful way have a serious competitive advantage.

With that in mind, let’s review five ways you can authentically brand your company and improve your marketing strategy.

Fearless candor

Remember when Domino’s Pizza essentially admitted their product was awful? In the early 2000s, the pizza chain’s reputation was so toxic that taste testers liked their product less if they were told it came from Domino’s, rather than simply being unbranded.

Domino’s decided to make changes to their pizza and accompany the rollout with a marketing campaign that was basically an extended mea culpa for culinary crimes. This candid and authentic approach was a resounding success; Domino’s market share rose from nine to 16% in five years. The moral of the story? The honesty and candor resonated with consumers, and they ordered much more pizza as a result.

Fine tune your voice

Does your company speak with a unified and distinctive brand voice across all platforms and channels? If not, it’s time to start working with a brand story agency. Your brand voice should be an authentic representation of your brand personality and it should, ideally, be immediately recognizable to your audience.

What’s the best way to create an authentic brand voice? Fine-tune your language. All of your brand language should reflect your brand messaging, attributes etc. It should also be relatable, fresh and up to date.

What it shouldn’t do, however, is attempt to mimic popular slang phrases or idioms. That kind of thing needs to be executed perfectly, otherwise, you’ll fall into the all too familiar category “corporation tries to be hip and fails spectacularly.” That’s about as inauthentic as it gets in the eyes of modern audiences.

Reach for a higher purpose

Consumers may be wary about marketing, but they appreciate uplift and storytelling. Look no further than Nike’s advertising campaigns, which typically do a masterful job of highlighting the triumph of the human spirit over often-incredible odds.

When an audience watches Rohan Murphy (a wrestler who managed to compete at the highest collegiate level despite having no legs) in a Nike ad, some of the awe and goodwill they experience is transferred to the brand.  Being exposed to a narrative like this can create a deeply human and authentic connection, as the ad creates a powerful emotional response in the viewer.

Forge a two-way connection

Great storytelling doesn’t have to be a one-way street. In fact, by encouraging your audience to share their own stories with your brand, you can forge an even deeper and more authentic connection.

Social media is the ideal avenue for a two-way campaign. Invite your audience to share photos or stories on Instagram, and engage them in meaningful conversations about their content.

Don’t behave like a brand; Act like a person

Let’s face it: Brands are never going to fully transcend the inherent skepticism audience’s hold. So why act like a brand?

If you want to achieve authenticity, don’t be afraid to let the corporate mask drop. Show the occasional misstep or hiccup. Work with a brand story agency to create interesting, fresh and human stories to share. Drop the pose of corporate Olympian detachment, and let your audience know that your brand is really a collection of people: Imperfect, yes, but also human and deeply authentic.

Reach out to our human team and begin to authenticate your brand story.