Brand Growth in 2020: Looking Ahead at the Bigger Picture

How are you? No really, we want to know. Consider this our half-way through the year check-in. We won’t sugarcoat that 2020 has undoubtedly been one of the most unpredictable years not just in the world of marketing, but for everyone.

While this year has thrown a plethora of challenges our way, we like to think it has helped brands everywhere really hone in on future strategies, how to realign messaging, and more importantly, learn that transparency is crucial. To businesses who had grand plans to grow your brand this year, we see you, we hear you, and we feel for you. But guess what — you can still achieve those same goals! We have a few tips moving forward from here to help elevate your brand’s awareness to the next level.

Messaging Matters

Your messaging not just for the rest of 2020, but for the long-term sustainability of your brand is going to seriously matter. While this seems like a no-brainer, this year truly has changed the course of how brands will communicate with their supporters moving forward, so if there is one thing you take away from this blog, please let it be that your messaging must be one of the most important components of your marketing strategy. The tone of brand voices is more delicate than ever these days.

Maybe we needed to shift our focus to better our brands. Instead of feeling stressed and defeated, take every obstacle as a learning experience. For example, we’ve seen an uptick in consumers wanting to hear from brands more and more. They want to know what you stand for, how you’re responding to the current state of affairs, and what exactly you are doing for them. Take advantage of these shifts in behavioral trends! Social media has the unique advantage of removing the guesswork from what your audience wants. They’re on there, willing, and ready to tell you. Simply ask.

What Impression Will You Leave?

Consumers are digesting tons of information by turning to broadcast, cable television, and other mediums such as social media for information. They’re seeking forms of entertainment and ways that they can involve themselves with your brand. You know that comms strategy you had in January of this year? Be agile and willing to adjust it so as to not sound tone-deaf. Now is the time to exude empathy, not commercialism. You don’t have to present a sales pitch to land a sale. A post or e-mail that feels positive goes a long way for your brand, but being genuine is crucial here. Your audience DOES know the difference between being authentic or if you’re just seeking profit.

Pro tip: Associate your brand with good. You’re probably thinking, well I do! I’ve sent out social messages and e-blasts with a general feel good statement. While this is nice, it’s not enough. In times of crisis and social change, consumers are being inundated with these same blanket statements. It’s not enough to tell them you’re there for them — you need to prove it. People will remember brands who participated in acts of service and good deeds more than those who posted a statement on social media. Stand out amongst the noise. Did your brand’s staff come together to contribute monetary donations to a worthy cause? Is your team getting out in the community to lend a hand to those in need? Has your HR team come together to create new trainings? Share this news, and more importantly, act on it.

Develop Consumer Personas

If you haven’t sat down to create consumer personas and ways to track their behavior, here is your mid-year reminder to start! Marketers gain better insights in real time if they track consumer trends by creating personas. With current events changing at a rapidly increasing rate, monitoring these trends closely is how you will be able to keep your brand relevant.

By keeping an eye on trends, you can easily adapt the appropriate messaging and look for potential digital opportunities. But, establishing consumer personas is the first step in tracking these behavioral trends. What’s a consumer persona? Simply put, they’re your ideal customer. Taking general details about each customer, such as their demographic, gender, socio-economic status will help your brand segment out who you’re targeting.

If you’re a novice brand, you probably don’t have all of these details yet and that’s okay, too! Getting started is easy, but it does require some time and research. Lucky for you, social media has built-in analytics that can offer key datasets at your fingertips. A breakdown of age, gender, and even the type of mobile device they’re viewing your content on is available for you to see on the backend of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Surveys and feedback are a great way to collect this information, too!

Pro tip: Identifying who you don’t want as a customer is just as important. You need to know who isn’t a good fit for your brand because if not, you’ll waste valuable time and resources in the customer acquisition process. As fellow content creators, we know how much time it takes to create these resources whether it’s social posts, blogs, or copy on your website. Your time is valuable — target those who will reciprocate support that will reflect with a nice ROI.

Track Current Trends

The point of creating personas? To understand your ideal customer and ultimately, get them to convert! Once you know your target audience, it’s time to monitor their ever-evolving behavior. Analytics can be intimidating if they aren’t something you’re used to looking at daily but trust us when we tell you, become best friends with customer-centric tools! It’s 2020 — we have a multitude of data at our fingertips. There’s no excuse to not track consumer trends. Building dashboards that display this kind of data will help to fuel the right decisions when marketing your brand.

A few of our recommendations:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google’s Audience Retention tools
  • Google Trends
  • HubSpot CRM
  • Salesforce CRM
  • Facebook Insights
  • Twitter Insights
  • Instagram Insights

Finish Out the Year Strong!

You’ve got this. Seriously, you do. If there is anything that 2020 has proved so far it’s that all brands have the potential to be malleable. We can adapt with unpredictable times, learn from them, and even implement a different set of standards to do better by the brand and hey, maybe even personally.

You love what you do and you believe in your brand. As brand managers we get it. Our passion for our clients and their success runs deep. While it seems cliche, we really are in this together and it’s important to sometimes step back, look at the bigger picture, and adjust your strategy so that you can provide nothing but the very best for your customers.

As we enter the second half of this year, we hope these tips help you not only grow your brand, but contribute to a newer way of thinking. Now it’s your turn! We want to hear from you. What are some challenges you’ve faced this year? Have you implemented new strategies that have been working for you? Let us know, and as always, never hesitate to reach out to the Tinsley team to refine your branding strategy.

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