Image from Alejandro Pis Garcia used under CC license.
In today’s world, it’s easy to change your mind – and therefore your message – at the drop of a hat. And believe it or not, you and your besties aren’t the only ones doing it—big brands fall victim as well.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a breakfast where the Global Director Brand and Marketing of Puma, Adam Petrick, walked us through his journey at the company and discussed the trials and tribulations of defining Puma over the decades. Petrick discussed how the brand, while enjoying high awareness, also had low clarity and therefore a disproportionately small number of customers, due to shifting messages.
Petrick shared how his role is helping Puma construct a new global growth strategy that is promising to take the fashion-forward brand to the next level in the coming year. Additionally, Petrick offered insight on how brands can create and keep a strong message that fits the company and frames it up for success.
As PR professionals, we work with a lot of companies, large and small, emerging-growth up-and-comers and established industry leaders. And while we may not always help them define who they are, we are specialists in helping them convey their value propositions to the public in the most clear, successful ways possible. Below are some of PAN’s and Petrick’s top tips on how companies of all sizes can build and sustain a flourishing brand.
First things first: Success starts from within. Your brand should be an extension of your behavior. Whether you’re selling beauty, tech or trends, be sure to practice what you preach within your four walls.
You are the company you keep: Because of this, it’s always smart to identify and partner with strong personalities to represent your brand. Whether it’s an advertising campaign, a social media initiative or even a party appearance, make sure that the person you present as the face of your brand aligns with the company’s morals as well.
If at first you don’t succeed: Try again. You can change your perceptions of success (anything 50 percent or higher works!) or simply change your direction, but don’t change your persistence! Be willing to dust off an idea that fell flat, but also know when you should switch directions entirely. And most importantly, be ready to admit and then fix mistakes in order to get back to your focus.
Stay focused: Which consumers consider your competitors will tell you a lot about how they view you. And it might be easy to compare your brand to others in the same industry and poll how you match up. But honestly, keeping your head down and focused on your messaging, instead of reacting to theirs, will yield a more consistent tone, which ultimately conveys more confidence.
Know when to get on board: That being said, it’s important to know what the “next big thing” is, and then be sure you’ve got it too. The last thing you want your brand to do is miss the boat on something like digital integration, which could slow down customer engagement.
Rinse and repeat: Repetition creates habits. So keep your message consistent each day, season and year. Soon enough you’ll be walking the walk.
At PAN we don’t just use this formula for our clients -- we put it to use ourselves, keeping our own clear message about who we are as a company. Above all else, we take pride in helping our clients succeed. We would love the opportunity to speak with you about how we can help your brand grow and flourish.