Whether you are competing in a business-to-consumer or business-to-business segment, one of the most important assets that you possess is your brand image. Years and millions of dollars are spent by organizations to promote and enhance their image with the hope of forming a bond with consumers/clients to prompt them to buy on a consistent basis.
With the advent of social media applications for online marketing purposes, organizations must be vigilant of their brand image from two perspectives: 1) The organization itself and 2) Consumers.
In an ideal world, organizations would like to think that they have the perfect brand that can connect with their target market. Unfortunately, organizations do not operate in an ideal world however; some do buy into their own hype and attempt to position their brand in the marketplace ahead of competitors. These organizations seem to forget that there is another aspect of the “branding equation” that will be the judge of this kind of positioning strategy – consumers.
From the moment a consumer becomes acquainted with a brand, he or she is gathering information on it. This type of information can range from whether or not a need has been satisfied by the brand to getting the best “bang for their buck”. As a result, consumers have the power to reinforce, modify or destroy an organization’s brand image quickly.
An assessment of the two perspectives is necessary for content marketers to identify the “brand image” gaps between the two entities. Any identified gaps should be highlighted and content should be curated to address the issue to close the gap in order for the two perceptions to be aligned. Let’s take an example of HealthSnak* a snack bar producer that has invested heavily in the branding and positioning of their new premium bar called, SnakMeal*, “The Ultimate Stopgap Between Meals”.
Months after the launch, the competitive intelligence manager provides a report on the main theme of the postings by consumers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The report states that consumers are frequently commenting on the high price of SnakMeal which is $5.
What is the brand image gap?
Answer: Value perception.
What is the content curation solution?
Answer: The solution is to provide engaging content to substantiate the price of the bar. This can be in the form of:
- A series of blog posts from health experts, fitness gurus and professional athletes discussing the health benefits of SnakMeal.
- A crowdsourcing initiative to have consumers contribute ideas to add to the recipes for the existing and potential new bars.
- A YouTube Channel where consumers can share their experiences with satisfying their hunger with SnakMeal.
*Both HealthSnak and SnakMeal are purely fictitious and were used for the purposes of this post.
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