Can the same brand take two quite different positions? Yes. And no.
We need to move on. That’s my take-out from a piece by Tara Walpert Levy – spotted and brought to my attention by the ever-observant Jeremy Dean. We need to move on from a mind-set based on reach and drop-off, and replace it with one centred on engagement and accumulation. “Historically, our media plans have focused more on exposure and broadcasting than engagement and response …,” writes Levy. “We focused on reaching as large an audience as we could and hoped or planned that of that 100%, we would eventually whittle down to the, call it 5%, of people who actually cared and mattered for our brand. We focused on reach because our ability to measure engagement … was lousy.”
Some years back, Paul Dunay wrote a post that has always stuck with me. Be what interests people. To me, that is everything a brand strategy should aspire to, captured in four words. And yes, on the one hand, it seems obvious. But don’t let the simplicity of the statement fool you – because whilst “interest” itself is a deeply familiar concept, it is also an elusive one.
Everybody wants their brand to be talked about – and most of us have used social media to spread the word. But what would happen if you reversed the process? I’m fairly certain it was Grenville Main, a master of the memorable phrase, who once referred to Twitter as the “talkback radio of the internet”. I recalled the comment when an article arrived in my inbox referencing research done by MIT into why some tweets do the rounds, and others don’t (thanks Blackland PR). Perhaps by studying what people are most inclined to chatter about, it’s possible to engineer a brand that is simpatico with our very human need to share – or at least to draw some conclusions about what might lift a brand’s social attraction. The nine key factors that, according to the research, decide a tweet’s success are: Brevity – no surprises, given that 140 characters amounts to communications’ fast food. Made to snack quickly and often. Attention grabbing – the communication itself talks to something the reader is already interested in …