Learning about digital media over the last few years, layered with how my career has tracked through design, magazines, advertising and content; has shaped my lens on brand strategy's evolution. As mobile devices and SaaS apps have made digital engagement ubiquitous, I see communications strategy shifting upstream in brand planning, particularly as most of my clients aren't marketing communications professionals... they're the people with, say, engineering degrees or other specialist expertise, who have unexpectedly become part of the front line for companies and nonprofits of all sizes.
Brand strategy used to be for big brands with big budgets. It's relevant now to a much wider base as small companies try to position themselves to attract the attention of the people who can help them grow, which can include consumers, influencers, media, investors and partners. I see parallel trends that are making brand planning more accessible: people with ideas and vision are leaving large companies to start their own ventures at the same time as the personal brand has become more important. I'm hearing from people of all generations who want to build their brands and feel the competitive pressure to pump up their presence. So as communications strategy has become more important, it's got a focus on brand planning that starts with what's being said, where it's being shared, for whom and why... and how to build the brand to hit the next goal.
I'm also seeing that as new companies position themselves, many founders with deep technical or business expertise have a DIY approach. They juggle building the business and the product or service offering with building credibility, reputation, influence and awareness. That's a big challenge and the communications strategy that builds trust and community is a side of brand building that I've seen founders put off til about a year or two into the business as their brand strategy becomes more organized and the need to be proactive moves communications planning up the To Do list.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every great brand that's making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.