Brand Strategy is the Foundation for Advertising
One of the misconceptions about brand strategy and advertising is that they are disconnected. As a result, many brands create ads that are off-strategy because they don’t use their brand strategy as a guide. But brand strategy is the foundation for advertising.
At Emotive Brand, the most rewarding part of developing a brand strategy with clients is when we see the strategy come to life. A B2B brand strategy inspires powerful website messaging. An employer brand turns into a rock solid manifesto. A B2C brand strategy translates into a compelling advertisement campaign.
In the end, strategy gives businesses the infrastructure it needs to be successful with internal and external marketing. But successfully turning a strategy into an outward facing campaign isn’t easy. It takes gumption, and not all organizations are agile enough to quickly translate and execute their new brand strategy. In order to succeed, you have to be savvy, confident, and agile as a brand. And, you have to committed to your strategy.
Magoosh: A Case Study
When Magoosh, a longtime client, approached us about helping produce a HULU commercial, we didn’t hesitate. Magoosh is a model client. They not only developed a powerful brand strategy, but have stuck to it with great success. As a result, their business has had tremendous growth this year, solidifying their already strong reputation and foothold with the competition.
The goals of the commercial were straightforward: drive brand awareness forward and test HULU as an advertising platform. However, developing concept and creative for a commercial is not usually a quick process. Filming and editing can be laborious, and Magoosh had a very quick turnaround deadline. They wanted to roll-out the commercial in time to capture their peak sales season: about a month away. The real and apparent challenge was time.
That’s where the importance of a solid brand strategy became paramount. Because Magoosh had a very clear idea of its target audience, its key messages, its look and feel, voice, and story, the impossible deadline wasn’t nearly as daunting as it might normally be. In fact, having these strategic elements in place already was key to their future success.
Staying True to the Brand
Advertisements that have the foundation of a strong strategy help the brand ring true at every touchpoint. To stay true to the brand and develop a story that felt authentic, we didn’t have to look far for talent. Magoosh had a team of spirited, confident, positive (and good looking) people on deck who were more than willing to help.
These people truly believed in the brand, and as a result, pulling together a cast of employees and real Magoosh students who could speak to the product was easy. Online test prep really does change the lives of the people who use it. For some this means making dream schools realities. For others it means exceeding score expectations or overcoming personal challenges. Because of the nature of the brand, positive testimonials were abundant. And featuring people who believe in the brand helped make the commercial that much more compelling. Their energy and passion was tangible.
The Best Advertising Connects People to People
It’s no question that human brands are winning. In an age of increasing digitization and consumers who see hundreds of ads a day, brands have to truly connect with the people who matter to their business. People will always seek brands that help them succeed. Brands that help to enrich or improve lives have the strongest and most powerful stories to tell. For Magoosh, creating a compelling ad meant connecting ‘Magooshers’ (as we nicknamed their staff and customers) to the people they help. The ad’s story used ‘Magooshers’ to speak directly to the needs of customers – flexibility, convenience, and results – in an emotive way, bringing the heart of their brand to life.
Consistency is King
Even amidst the common challenge of time, translating a brand strategy into advertising should be seamless if all the pieces (voice, look and feel, messaging) are in place. And developing an ad that connects people to people is made easier when the product really does impact people’s lives in a powerful way. The trick is to tell an authentic and compelling story that rings true across all points of engagement. Advertising is never a one-off. So develop an advertising campaign that pushes the strategy across multiple touch points. The message will become stronger. Awareness will heighten and your modes of measuring traction will increase. With a solid brand strategy in place, your advertising campaign is ready to roll.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy agency.