By Callie Wheeler
Whether you’re a small business owner trying to wear a CMO hat or a seasoned ad man, it can be easy to lose sight of your brand in the hubbub of daily work. You might be overwhelmed by the variety of options messaging, creative and delivery each hold, or you may have surrendered yourself to the mindless wave of a hand while mumbling, “Check the brand guidelines on the shared drive.”
But a solid understanding of your brand is the foundation for successful marketing and advertising efforts, and that’s especially true with programmatic advertising. How can you expect online users, who may be learning about you for the first time, to know and trust you if you don’t know yourself?
So, I have a suggestion for how to stay in touch with your brand, and it’s pretty weird: Think of your brand as a person.
Hear me out, though, before you jump ship. Your brand is your company’s identity, and it is the guiding force behind how you handle challenges, what color your envelopes are and whether copy on your website is written in first- or third-person. Your brand needs to be consistent, and all your decisions, small and large, should be made with brand in mind.
But what if your brand were a person? Let’s say your company is a print studio located in Nashville, Tennessee. You specialize in invitations, stationary, posters and quirky promotional materials like paper coasters. You love your community, you do your favorite work with a vintage letterpress, and you work primarily with clients who value quality and uniqueness over low prices. So, who is your brand? And what kind of creative would your brand come up with for your online ad campaign?
Your brand is the kind that drinks Arnold Palmers and flips through back issues of Southern Living and Dwell. She – because let’s be real, your brand is a woman – is a trendsetter but isn’t flashy about it. She has a good eye for design, great work ethic and doesn’t sweat the small stuff, just like her audience. And that’s what makes knowing your brand so important: Your audience needs to relate to what you stand for.
Do you think you could make decisions for the print shop now, based on the person I just described to you? Because I could. Her banners would be simple, uncluttered and beautiful, placing emphasis on the quality of her work. Your brand has a personality too just waiting to be discovered.
Callie Wheeler is a storyteller who loves using more than just words to get an idea across. In addition to working in the world of programmatic advertising, she owns Cake Events and is a freelance writer. She loves baking, watching TV and Flannery O’Connor, and on the weekends you can usually find her outside or cooking food with friends. You can also follow Callie on Twitter