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.

Does Your Brand Talk About You? Use a Brand Story Agency

Human beings are natural storytellers. From our earliest days, we’ve shared stories, shaped myths and passed them down through each generation, using them to explain, entertain and educate. The most successful brands understand how important a great story is to public perception — which is one reason why working with a specialized brand story agency is often the best move.

By developing a compelling brand story, customers view businesses for what they truly are: A collection of real people working to deliver a product or service that improves the customer’s life, rather than another faceless and distant organization.

Neuroscience research has shown that narratives have a profoundly stimulating effect on the human mind; in fact, if one looks at scans of the brain, there is little difference between reading or hearing a story and experiencing the same thing — all the same neurological regions of the brain are activated. A brand story, like any other story, has immense potential for creating rich and meaningful connections with audiences.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at five tips for improving your existing brand story.

Identify your protagonist

There’s a reason why almost every story needs a hero; the archetypal “hero’s journey” is one of the oldest story patterns we have, and one that is found in virtually every human culture. It has endured this long for one reason: People respond to it on a deep, emotional level.

A brand protagonist doesn’t need to be a figure like Hercules and doesn’t even need to be overtly or classically heroic. It might be a founder (think about the iconic power of a Steve Jobs or Ray Kroc), a spokesperson or simply the company itself. Yet it should always help forge a connection with your audience. Remember, brand stories need to go deeper than conventional advertising; when executed correctly, they create emotional resonance.

Make it Relatable

“Put people in your photos” is the first thing any news photographer is taught. Why? Because people are drawn to each other, much more than we’re drawn to landscapes or buildings. The same holds true in storytelling.

Your brand story should focus on how your product or service improves the lives of everyday people. It should be authentic and compelling, feeling personal yet also universal.

Cut Through the Clutter

We’ve all started reading a boring story and stopped after a few uninspiring paragraphs, never to pick it up again. To maintain audience interest, it’s vitally important to seize their attention immediately.

When crafting a brand story, originality and creativity are paramount. It’s impossible to sell to an audience if you cannot hold their attention.

Focus on Simplicity

When telling a story, needless complexity distracts the audience and increases the risk of disengagement. This is especially true for brand stories (after all, we’re not creating War and Peace, here). In order to avoid this, it’s important to tell your brand story in a simple fashion.

To do this, keep your story focused on the problems you can solve for real people while still allowing your brand personality to shine through.

Make Sure You Answer Two Fundamental Questions

Every brand story should address two essential questions: Who are you and why are you in business?

Audiences want to know who they are patronizing and the values you stand for. They also want to know why you’re in business — and the answer has to be more than just “to make a profit.” Use your story to explain your values and the value you can add to your customers’ lives.

Working With a Brand Story Agency

Creating a compelling brand story is a real challenge — especially for small to mid-sized businesses. At BIGEYE, we have the storytelling expertise to help you create the kind of brand identity that moves the needle. 

If you’re in the market for a top Florida marketing firm or brand story agency, we urge you to find out what BIGEYE can do for you.

You Need More than a Logo, You Need a Brand Development Company

You’ve got a cool company name. You’ve got an eye-catching logo. From a branding perspective, your company is good to go, right? Not so fast! You’re only just getting started.
Brand definition is about much more than a name and a logo. In fact, at our brand development company we advise all our clients — large and small — that there are many elements to a fully defined brand. They include:

  • Brand identity: This is the unique look of the brand, and the place where many companies incorrectly feel like their work is done.
  • Brand messaging: Beyond the way your brand looks, there’s also the way it sounds. Having carefully selected brand messaging is crucial.
  • Brand positioning: What segments of the market are you after? Once you’ve answered that question, you need to align your brand with those segments.
  • Brand strategy: Creating a brand and launching a successful brand are two very different tasks. You need to have a plan for drawing attention to your new brand identity.
  • Brand style guide: Even the most well-defined brands can end up diluted if you don’t have a document your staff can refer to for rules about brand usage. That funky font the sales team wants to use in their email marketing campaign? No can do. Consistency is one of the keys to a strong brand.

 

How you benefit from the services of a brand development company

Developing and launching a successful brand takes time and effort. Is it worth it? Oh, yes… your brand matters more than you think! There are many ways to collaborate with a brand development company to help create a unique brand identity for your business. For example:

Branding increases awareness

Even if they aren’t yet ready to become a customer, just making prospects aware of who you are and what you’re offering is helpful.

Branding differentiates your company

Your brand can help set you apart from the competition. And, in an ever-more-competitive business landscape, your ability to differentiate yourself can make a huge difference in whether you succeed or… don’t succeed!

Branding creates trust

The more your prospective customers are exposed to your brand, the more they believe you’re the “real deal” and are a company they can trust.

Branding can increase company value

The evaluation place on your company by outside experts is about more than just your assets. There is tremendous value in having people know who you are and what you stand for.

Branding increases customer loyalty

“I use that company for all my ____________.” Customers who have good experiences with a company that has a strong brand are the most loyal customers anywhere. Yes, you have to have good products and services. But back them up with a memorable visual identity and you’ve hit the jackpot!

Branding inspires your team

Not all the benefits of a strong brand are external. Your strong brand can serve as a rallying point for your employees, as well.

 

The skill and experience of your brand development company matter

No disrespect to that friend of a friend who creates logos as her side gig, but you want to work with a top Florida advertising agency with a proven track record in branding. There’s too much at stake. Brand development is an art and a science, and both skill and experience are critical.

Looking to brand or rebrand your company or a product/service offering? Talk with us about how we’ve served as the brand development company for businesses of all sizes in a wide variety of markets, and how we can craft a brand for you that gives you a competitive edge.

Advice on Social Media Stories from a Brand Positioning Agency

Social stories have only been available for a few years, but as a brand positioning agency, we quickly recognized their marketing potential. Today, our expert storytellers use social stories to put a relatable human face on the clients we work with. Humanizing an organization makes it much easier for potential customers to develop a strong relationship and affinity for their products and services.

Why stories sell

Behavior experts tell us that humans are wired for story. We have what’s been called a “story drive” that makes us hungry for information presented in this format. In fact, we know that storytelling was the primary way that our ancient ancestors communicated. You might say that cave paintings were the first Instagram!

Stories are just as important today. They are the best way to sell a product or service because we connect with them at a deeper level than we do simple information. This is extra important in a generation where our attention span has dropped below that of a goldfish (that’s a little embarrassing). People want to know at a glance what you are offering, and stories give them that information in a very quick, visual, and scannable way.

5 tips on using stories to connect with your audience

As a brand positioning agency, we’re sharing insider knowledge on leveraging social media stories:

1. Start slowly

Rather than diving headfirst into being storytellers across the social spectrum, you and your team should pick a platform and get a good feel for the medium. Instagram is a great place to start, in part because it has an excellent set of tools for creating social content.

2. Make the most of the tools available to you

Many companies get stuck using just the basic functionality on a platform. If you want to create engagement with your audience, it pays to learn about all the features a particular service has to offer so you can make your stories stand out.

3. Work up to using multiple platforms

Once you’re comfortable creating stories on one platform, start reworking and repurposing the content you create there in other places. Doing so saves you time and provides consistency for your audience.

4. Create stories that exhibit both passion and practicality

While a story that is simply entertaining will get some attention, one that also provides practical, usable information will be much more widely shared, and we can tell you just how much with our social media monitoring services.

5. Be human

The “story drive” we have makes us want to hear stories from other humans. Content that looks and sounds like it was produced by a robot won’t engage people and may turn them off. Utilizing content that is relatable and organic will draw more of a crowd.

How can our brand positioning agency help you get the most bang for your buck through the use of social media stories? The best place to start is to get in touch with our branding experts and tell us your tale.

3 Tools Every Brand Strategy Agency Uses to Increase Conversion

A strong brand strategy agency knows there are a few tried and tested tools that will boost conversions across every industry. At BIGEYE, we pride ourselves on championing multi-channel marketing so our clients can meet their customers’ needs on any device, across any platform, and raise the collective benchmark for digital marketing best practices. These are the three tools we use to help our clients transform their  brand within months – guaranteed.

1. Segmentation is more important than ever

While content is still king, a one-size fits all model will quickly overthrow the throne. Partner with a brand strategy agency like BIGEYE to fully understand your audience and the different segments shopping for your products. Create custom content for each segment and use tokenization, analytics tagging, social sign on, or self-identification to recognize and adapt to your site visitors by serving them content relevant to their needs. This will increase customer loyalty and boost the likelihood for conversion. Segmentation will also help you understand what types of customers are most valuable so you can budget your marketing dollars around their potential.

2.Invest in omni-channel marketing

It is rare for a customer to enter the marketing funnel and complete a conversion in the same visit, or on the same device. Investing in an omni-channel marketing strategy allows you to anticipate the natural jump your visitors will make between devices and across channels throughout their customer journey.

In addition to anticipating your customers’ needs and increasing the likelihood of being able to serve compelling content, retarget, and ultimately convert your site traffic, omni-channel customer engagement also boosts retention, which can increase your lifetime value and returning site traffic. According to Invesp, brands with omni-channel engagement retrain 89% of their customers compared to 33% for companies who do not invest in this strategy.

3.Don’t make assumptions about your competition or your customers

When clients ask us why a brand strategy agency will help them succeed, we often highlight assumptions they may be making about their competitions or their customers. It’s natural for product and brand leaders to make assumptions based on their own experience using their products day by day. Having a fresh pair of eyes set up the a/b testing, seek answers, and translate data into actionable insights is one of the most valuable outputs of working with an agency.

Amp up your conversions by working with a brand strategy agency today. Contact our team of experts to learn more about how we have helped brands like yours grow and scale for success.

Decoding a Hidden World by Using a Pharmaceutical Naming Agency

When is the last time you heard someone ask a pharmacist for a refill on N-methyl-3-phenyl-3-[4- (trifluoromethyl) phenoxy]propan-1-amine? How about fluoxetine? The answer is probably more common than you think. While the scientific and generic names for Prozac aren’t particularly memorable, they do provide a revealing look into the byzantine world of pharmaceutical naming.

Many small and medium pharmaceutical researchers and producers don’t realize how important naming is until the FDA rejects their patent and sends years of research and clinical trials back to square one. A pharmaceutical naming agency can help decode the mystery and ensure your work makes it to market.

Why pharmaceutical naming matters

The FDA strictly regulates and subsequently rejects between 20 – 25% of drugs’ generic and brand names to avoid confusion that might lead to misdosing, confusion over a drug’s efficacy, or that might lead to patient stigmatization and privacy violations. Once approved, the naming process continues to play an important role in a drug’s success because a pharmaceutical company may only market their drug under a brand name, rather than a generic or scientific name, once it has been patent protected.

Competing companies may market the same generic drug under a different name to make the market more competitive. While Advil and Motrin are both brand names for ibuprofen, their name, positioning, and marketing plays an important role in which the consumer ultimately chooses.

How a pharmaceutical naming agency can boost your success

The average pharmaceutical naming agency creates between 2,000 – 5,000 names for each drug before beginning the FDA screening process and march to patent protection that will allow brands to compete in the market. A top Florida advertising agency like BIGEYE can help kick off that process by vetting names that may raise flags for the FDA or that will not stand out from the competition.

By partnering with a creative team, your brand can focus on the science and success of your product while your agency ensures your research and work does not get delayed because its name sounds too similar to another drug or accidentally includes the common shorthand for another scientific component.

Contact us today to learn more about how we’ve helped other drug producers enter the market and break through the clutter of competition from big pharmaceutical companies.