Pretty much with every client, no matter what the project, we at ERC help identify, create and communicate their message. We ask a lot of questions and do a lot of digging to determine these seemingly simple and obvious things:
What is it they want to say?
Why (or if we are feeling cheeky, So What?)
What’s the call to action? In other words, what should happen next?
The message has to tie into the brand that is being put forth. It has to be in a voice that is authentic and true (alternative facts do not cut it); and resonate with the target audience. A great and well known example is Nike and it’s famed tagline, Just do It.
It answers our questions above pretty clearly:
Nike wants you to get off your butt.
All of you
Because we need to move to live healthy lives
Do it while wearing Nike products
While we might be marketing communication experts helping our clients, every single one of us is doing this very thing every day. Each of us puts forth our personal brand and make our message known all the time– we just don’t always stop to think about it. And every once in awhile, we as individuals need to stop to take stock– something happens in our lives or around us where we are faced with asking ourselves the tough questions about who we are, how do we make a difference, what’s our point of view, and what our value is to the world around us.
Never was this more prominent to me than on the women’s march on January 21st that took place simultaneously all over the country and the world. Clearly, this was the first of many protests erupting daily. But because the women’s march was so wide reaching, it provided an unexpected and amazing platform for both individual self- expression and communal messaging. My incredibly moving experience in Chicago was defined by two things:
The civility and inclusive behavior of hundreds of thousands of people crowded together.
The messages on the colorful mostly homemade signs were varied, personal, and attention-getting. Each sign had a voice. Some young. Some old. Some angry. Some encouraging. Some at a complete loss for words.
Individuals’ brands were exhibited by how people presented themselves: the hats, the colors, the groups of people that went together or found each other there.
And most important was the call to action that lead us there: we wanted to make our voices heard while behaving with kindness and civility- a true demonstration to the world.
Some have criticized that first day of demonstrations and protest as being muddled and having too many messages and a lack of clear voice or call to action. And, as a branding and marketing communications professional, I would say they are correct. But what that march did was provide a chance for each of us to dig deep and uncover our own voice and our own call to action as individuals. And when all those individuals came together as we did, in my mind the collective message was clear:
Words matter. Action matters. Intention matters. Authenticity matters. In life, in business; personally and professionally.
This is how the world not only goes around, but gets better with each rotation.
– Suzy Weinberg, Production and Account Manager, ERC Co.