At last month’s DM Days New York Conference & Expo, Patrick Strother, CEO and chief creative officer at Strother Communications Group in Minneapolis, spoke on the topic of direct marketing’s effect on brand. In his presentation, he explained that branding is about building relationships and that you’re not managing your brand if you’re not nurturing it. Here are four ways to do just that.
1. Know the components of brand strength
In order to define what makes a brand strong, Strother gave the following percentages to these components: 25 percent to leadership, 25 percent to geographic spread, 15 percent to stability, 10 percent to market/profit, 10 percent to profit trend, 10 percent to support and 5 percent to protection. Which component do you have the most control over? The answer is leadership, which can take your brand a long way. He says that leadership can be found in the five changes: 1) change the way the world sees you; 2) change the way you see yourself; 3) change the way you do business; 4) change the way you think about your brand; and 5) change the way you see success.
2. Tear down the silo
Most direct marketing companies are made up of the following departments: sales, web, brand vision, PR, direct mail, advertising, design, and call center. He said that these folks must all get on the same page about marketing ideas and initiatives.
3. Make it likeable!
It’s key for response, yet many direct marketers get caught up with inventive creative rather than appealing creative, which is more essential.
4. Enhance the credibility of your offer in every piece
Strother compared copy style to tone of voice and the layout to body language. Both must be friendly, approachable and in sync for people to be pulled into the copy and properly frame your brand. For example, the copy should always be written before the headline.