Is brand strength a numbers game? One of the biggest work hazards in our industry, the vast and ever-changing realm of digital content marketing, is that the numbers don’t always necessarily translate into value, or sales, or other similar terms that we “marketing experts” throw around. Fair enough, every brand wants to be universally established, aesthetically recognized, and strongly positioned.
But strong brands don’t happen by accident. They require focus, coordinated effort, and consistent resources over long periods of time.
“Everybody’s a marketing expert.” I used to be so repulsed by that, but it was something I had to look through. After all, everybody is a consumer and speaks through a consumer’s perspective, so in essence these marketing experts are your target demographic and so to some extent, they know what they want and don’t want to see.
Because brands want fast results, influencers have become a coveted channel for reaching audiences and pursuing marketing ROI, and consequently, budget and resources for creative agencies to come up with long-term, bigger-picture ideas and strategies and campaigns for brands. But how do you build an “authentic voice” and “consistent brand appeal” if you’re too afraid to take the time and experiment organically?
It's important not to be enamored by large followings. Sure, it's the most logical way to sort through potential collaborators––it’s the easiest metric, but this number now represents actually very little about who an influencer is, because it’s the easiest to manipulate. We also completely ditched making it a priority to “get more followers” in most of our deliverable objectives, because we have decided we were after something more. Yes, to “build a community” was basic and literally overrated, but because that was in our mission and vision, we decided to career it.
How do you build a community? How do you get people to want to rep you? It took us a year to really break it down and come up with our voice, our aesthetic, our appeal––in order to build strong brand community, you need to create a brand that every single one of your followers can rep individually too. We had to learn to create a brand impression that our followers can also own for themselves. The solution seems so simple now: color. But this subtle-yet-strong impact took us 3 months to establish and curate before we got on the radar. It’s important to pave a way for brand synergy, and the best way to do that is to give your brand enough time to really showcase and constitute what it stands for, so that all collaborators will naturally align, giving you the brand credibility you need for any future project.
We’re trying to digitally innovate a new way of brand marketing, and we’d like to believe we’re off to a good start. As Drake says, “It’s not about who did it first, it’s about who did it right.”