On the flipside, check out what Oreo did during the Super Bowl—a definite branding “do.” Their social media team responded to the blackout at the Super Dome within minutes, posting a graphic that read: “You can still dunk in the dark.” The graphic was cute, clever, and consistent with Oreo’s other social graphics and their advertising. Most impressively, it was up before the lights were even back on at the Super Dome. Oreo’s tweet got over 15,000 retweets and almost 6000 favorites.
Now, is this the kind of conversion-driving tactic we love to talk about? Not really—it’s unlikely many people ran out and bought Oreos because of a tweet. But as an act of social media branding, it’s perfect.
“Oreo benefited from this golden opportunity by truly understanding who they are and who their audience is,” says Julia Ahumada, Vital’s co-founder and director of brand strategy. “The most effective companies are able to successfully take part in social media conversations because they have defined who they are, what they look like, and how they communicate.”
“We encourage our clients to create brand personas for their companies — to take this abstract concept of branding and paint a picture of who their company represents,” says Julia. “We also examine everyday comparisons: what type of car would your brand be, what actor would play your brand, what animal would represent you. Exploring the “why” of these questions is where you discover the really good stuff. Once you’ve completed this for your company, repeat the exercise for your audience, too. Having a visual of who is taking part in the conversations sets the stage for establishing all the key attributes for defining editorial tone and core values, design considerations and customer experience. It should influence every part of your company’s marketing strategy, from online, to print, to face-to-face interactions.”
It is more important than ever to establish not just your visual branding but also your brand voice, personality and guidelines. It is worth taking the time to define how your brand “talks” on social media, how you interact with customers and fans, and how you’ll respond to negative comments. Work with the leadership at your company to define these factors, and write it all down. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is worth it. Your brand will be more consistent across all channels, and you’ll be prepared to do effective damage control—just in case.
We can help you build a new brand architecture strategy, brand your social channels, establish brand guidelines and more. Our custom branding process is effective, comprehensive and yes, fun. Our branding pros love to talk, so get in touch.