How to Approach Marketing in a Modern World, Without Diluting Brand Identity
In today’s advertising, fragmentation is often the name of the game. Here's how to avoid the pitfall.
In a world where millions of messages, online and off, constantly clamor for our focus, our attention spans are, unsurprisingly, at an all-time low. In fact, we’re shocked you made it this far into the article. Since you’re here, though, we’d like to provide some wisdom—one agency’s point of view about how your outdoor brand can cut through the noise.
Below is a simple framework for promoting the key selling points of any outdoor company—health, happiness, and a boatload of fun—without fragmenting your messaging and diluting your brand.
A Clear Message
Be clear in who you are and your proposition. Remember what you are actually selling and why, being careful not to steer so far away from your product that it gets lost. In other words, be consistent. Too many brands rapidly change their messaging to fit a conversation of the moment, but those messages often don’t land with consumers at a frequency and clarity that makes them memorable or effective. Be thoughtful and strive to add value, beauty, and purpose to everything you put out; that way, you won’t add to the sea of clutter that only wastes time and resources.
A Concentrated Budget
Among brands we work with, we typically see several different approaches to budgeting. They are:
- The investment approach. This methodology says, “We want to sell X number of units, and we’ve allotted Y dollars per unit. Therefore, the budget = X times Y.”
- The historical approach. This one says, “Our sales last year were X, and we’ve allotted Y percent of that number to the marketing budget for this year.” (In this case, Y is typically 1 to 10 percent depending on the channel strategy.)
- The maintenance approach. “We spent X last year; therefore this year we’ll spend X again this year.”
- The objective approach (a favorite of ours), which bases costs on specific objectives and initiatives.
- The “throw something out there and hope it works” approach—self-explanatory.
Across these approaches, brands consistently spread their budgets too thin, diluting their channels, initiatives, and ultimately their presence. Concerted, concentrated efforts always win. Do a few things and do them well. Remember, we’re working toward defragmentation and towards concentration to create the biggest impact and move the needle for brands.
Set the Trend
What makes a brand famous and well loved? You may eventually be famous by following trends and algorithms, but that relies mostly on luck and can flame out quick. Well-known brands become so by being themselves, having a consistent point of view, and creating great products people enjoy, which adds value to peoples’ lives. These brands have well-defined advertising and PR strategies. Execute your strategy, have a clear message, and consolidate those to a few key channels.
Easy, right? This one is about making sure everyone is on the same page. Clarify your message, simplify your efforts (read: budget), and deliver your marketing in a way that reflects you for who you are.
Founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1969, WH inc. is a full-service marketing, communications, and PR agency with a focus on inspiring and galvanizing the active-lifestyle audience. Over its 50 years in business, the agency has worked with a wide range of global brands and holds a deep passion for the products it represents. To learn more, visit WH1969.com.