Is Your Brand Being Lost in the (Lack of) Translation?

by Cynthia Fodell Mott, Director of Marketing & Sales

During a recent visit with a client in the energy sector, he expressed frustration as to why a few of his business development executives were  winning engagements with clients, while others – in spite of the same efforts – were mediocre, at best. There was little difference in their level of experience, earned respect in their professional networks and proven track record of success. So, what was the problem?

brand-management2We began the discussion with an evaluation of the firm’s lackluster website: it did not accurately represent its value proposition and differentiators, nor did it adequately portray the firm’s unique approach to addressing and solving its prospective clients’ points of pain. In other words, the pitch to prospects did not align with the  website, which seemed an anomaly, both before and after meeting with a great new client.

In order to better understand this dilemma, I asked him to give me the firm’s “elevator pitch,” which he delivered in a manner that was clear, concise and quite compelling. However, his highly successful colleague looked at him rather startled and said, “That’s not the way I explain our services,” and went on to provide her pitch. Though there were certain similarities, her pitch highlighted another, very viable, direction.

This led us to wonder how the other not-as-successful business development managers were telling the firm’s story and that perhaps the problem lay in the inconsistency of the various iterations and representations of the brand, both online and word-of-mouth. Clearly, this was a critical component of the firm’s pain and commanded a “quantum leap in consciousness” in how they convey their brand elements: personality, passion and purpose.

According to the book entitled The Brand Called You: Make Your Business Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace, by Peter Montoya and Tim Vandehey, brand elements are defined as the following:

• Purpose: The essential You: your reason for Being
• Passion: An absolute do or die feeling for what You do
• Voice: The way You express yourself; the turn of your speech
• Tone: The manner in which You convey your message
• Personal Mantra/Mission Statement: Your personal manifesto encapsulated in one or two sentences ~ your pitch

Translating your brand elements into a compelling and impactful narrative is a holistic initiative, encompassing your logo, tag line, success stories, client testimonials and meaningful, consistent blog posts. Every piece of marketing collateral and expression should tie directly to your brand, serving to reiterate, reinforce and remain top-of-mind to your clients and prospects. This process should also include your trade show booth and leave-behind materials. In some cases, a brand refresh or revamp can provide the power necessary to make a dramatic impact on your market share and enhance your ability to attract top talent.

CMS/Creative Marketing Services would be delighted to work with you in building your brand, resulting in the gravitas that will grab new clients and keep them coming back. Call us!

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