The b r a n d is not your B l o g. The brand is not F a c e b o o k. The b r a n d is not T w i t t e r. The brand is what you deliver.

Say Cheese

Last year, I decided to take the plunge. The idea of marriage didn’t scare me as much as the thought of planning for the big day. Photographers, videographers, décor companies, lighting companies, entertainers, catering companies, venues…how was I ever going to find all these people to be part of the most important day of my life?

Being a bit of a picky person made the process a bit more challenging. But heck, these memories were for forever right! As the kilometers rapidly started gaining ground on my dashboard during the following months, frustration lingered close by. But as decisions had to be made, all you could do is cross your fingers and toes.

The day went without a hitch, and it although it sounds cliché, it truly was the most beautiful day. While most vendors delivered on their brand promise, a few attempted to flake out on certain details. Our friends would probably look at the embroidered Indian silk blue curtain with a mere fleeting nod, oblivious to the fact that it was originally fated to be pink. Whether it was an oversight or a sales pitch by the décor company to woo us, the truth is, we were wooed.

What personal brands fail to remember is that they are still brands. If McDonalds fails to deliver on their brand promise, they will lose their credibility. There will be negative backlash as people talk about the story to their friends and colleagues. And now with the power of social media, that gossip channel is amplified.

So photographers, here’s a piece of advice. Don’t deliver the wedding photos to the client a year later. If you really care about your brand, then do it as soon as possible after the happy day, when the couple is still giddy in love. And if you do your job right, you will receive a plethora of referrals, guaranteed.

Remember, you can throw as much money as you want into your marketing efforts, but you cannot buy word of mouth.

Creating a real smile on someone’s face creates brand loyalty

If Ben Franklin lived in today’s advertising world, his wise words may have sounded something like this: Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; make me smile and I’ll be your best friend forever.

Sure that makes sense but can brands create that truly, genuine smile on a consumer’s face?

The answer: Be creative in letting them know that they are not just a number.

What you need is a hook – something that hasn’t been done before. Something that is so simple, yet so incredibly human.

Contests on Twitter and Facebook don’t necessarily attract loyal brand fans — especially not in the current social media world where brands are constantly using contests to grow their Twitter follower-base or get more “likes” for their Facebook page.

Will these so-called contest winners be the best advocates for your brand? The answer is “No”.

What matters isn’t the award-winning campaign, or the thousand likes on your Facebook page, but rather it’s figuring out how to make a real connection with your consumer.

How do you do this?
Start by thinking about who your followers are.

Continue by thinking about what will make them smile.
This is your brilliant creative strategy.

Can a brand use social media to create a surprise
and make a small difference to someone’s day? KLM did

As we think about how to make brands stand out and make a blink, remember this quote from Peter Seeger (singer/songwriter),
“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”