Consider an Inside/Out Approach for Brand Repositioning

I’ve had the privilege to work on some pitches last year and it dawned on me that every big idea we come to the table with was consumer facing. In fact, in school we were trained to do that too, perhaps borrowing from the geometry rule that the short distance between point A and B is a straight line. However, I would beg to differ and say that while a straight line is the shortest distance, it may not be the more efficient or effective route.

I think it’s old hat to say that there are a gazillion touchpoints for a brand to influence in their favor, but it’s true. And the one we forget the most are the employees.

I believe that a brand’s most powerful advocates are the employees. I live with a roommate who works at Youtube and he’s probably the biggest Google fanboy you’ll meet, which means that I get personal recommendations and detailed arguments for why Google is so great every night I come home. Sure, this argument only has a very casual example as proof. But I know for sure that the employees are the easiest people to turn into brand advocates because there is a genuine shared interest and relationship that makes it easier to do so. After you get them, it becomes a word of mouth exercise to trickle into the public at large. I think this applies for larger companies who seem to have lost their way.

I don’t think this is a substitute for a communication campaign of some sort. But I think it’s a crucial first step that can be a more valuable and more effective investment of the money spent on repositioning a brand than a huge media buy upfront. With a solid evangelism within the company, we can give the ad campaign a tighter focus instead of trying to make it do more than it actually is designed to do (the result of which are those horrible anthem-ish commercial from the likes of giant tech and energy companies that read like an unfocused poem written by a space cadet).

TL:DR: Instead of asking: “what can get people excited about my brand?” it should be “what can I do to get my employees excited about sharing the company with their friends?”

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3 responses to “Consider an Inside/Out Approach for Brand Repositioning”

  1. girlgeum says :

    Some might say there’s a bias. They work for the company, and so to help the company, even though the product isn’t up to par, then they’ll try to sell it.

    I agree that those who work for a company should know best about what is being advertise to consumers.

  2. Nien says :

    Yes! That’s a good point. But all other marketing communications – PR, direct, retail, etc. – is biased as well. I guess this reveals that I’m a little heartless in that I see employees as part of the marketing execution mix. =)

  3. girlgeum says :

    Well to some extent they are. But I ‘m just saying that even though they use their company’s product and it’s good, some will see it as them trying to increase their profit. Let the consumers do the speaking.

    And as to advertising. This is convincing people that they need what they don’t need, and then having them go out and buy it.

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