Have you ever had the pleasure of knowing Type A grammar nerds? Allow us to introduce ourselves. Grammatically correct sentences make sense to us in the way that the programming language makes ￼sense to our developers. We like words. We like what words mean and how words, when put together, form meanings.
Advertising truly is an art form rallied around who can put words together in the most tangible way to ￼make a product have meaning. It’s about words and visuals combining to form the perfect union while still remaining accessible, relevant, and memorable to the masses. ￼Think about the word “nike”. Do you think of the famous swoosh logo? Do you think of sportswear? Do ￼you feel empowered to slam dunk a cantaloupe into the nearest trash bin? We often get that urge. That’s the power of branding. It took time and money for people to begin to associate the word “nike” with these feelings, products, and experiences. Just do it right. Get it?
Creating a strong brand like Nike sounds easy, right? Not so much. While people have differing word associations, they also have equally different ways of interpreting messages. That’s exactly why we have target markets and why we specifically send our message through different channels to reach those we know would be most interested in the product. How many times have you groaned about the 15-second ads that play before the funny cat video your coworker sent you? How many times did you pay attention? Not everyone that hears or sees our message will gravitate to our product, but those we target will; and that’s ultimately the goal.
Why waste all of your hard work on capturing their attention if no one can follow your brand voice? One of the inconsistencies we see from a lot of our clients is that their branding and messaging isn’t unified through a single source. As an agency, we write email blasts or social media calendars, but rarely do we have the insight into or full control over the client’s daily content. This poses a problem for lots of reasons, one is that with so many people touching the branding or messaging, it causes voice variation.
Over time, this causes confusion to the consumer, but finding solutions and bringing consistency to a brand is one thing that we as an agency work hard at on a daily basis. You ask may be asking why a brand and unified voice is so important. It’s actually quite simple and the answer is Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball. Just kidding, it’s equity. The more equity a brand can carry, the more substantial and rooted the brand proves to be over time. Brand voices are crucial not only for “marketing” purposes but also for the end consumer. The personification of the brand voice carries weight as it allows the consumer to feel as though they are connecting with a person over a company. When that consumer connects with the brand on a personal level, they also carry the brand with an all-consuming pride and with loyalty – hence the hipster sporting 5 Apple products.
Now, we by no means are advocating monotony and plain Jane marketing techniques purely for consistency sake. This is where campaigns come into play. Campaigns are like a brand’s wardrobe, if you will. While the brand stays the same and carries the same posture and personality, the campaign responds to trends, creates buzz, and enhances the brand it clothes. Have fun with it, go viral, and improve the bottom line while you’re at it.
One of our personal favorites is the ever so popular Old Spice. Who doesn’t love this brand? Especially the alluring aromas. Despite vastly different campaign directions, their brand still stands strong and recognizable. Their voice resonates with all things funny, masculine, and trending. Whether they use a shirtless man riding a horse on a sun setting landscape or a beaver in 80’s gear challenging men to smell as great as nature is, their voice still maintains it’s tone. Fresh campaigns can often strengthen traffic and interest but use caution; if the ultimate brand voice is weak or inconsistent, brand loyalty will plummet￼ while your competitors go running off into the sunset with señor Old Spice.
So, what’s in a name? We will let the brand speak for itself.