Is Your Brand Culturally Relevant?

[Your brand is a living, breathing entity. And like all living things, it can get old, stale, or simply out of sync with its environment. In a brand’s case this environment is popular culture.
There is no better example of this phenomenon than in the shifting media landscape; think social media, blogging, search engine optimization, customer forums, and so on. Significant change is affecting every communication platform (or it soon will be). And they’re just the communication delivery devices. What about current cultural topics affecting marketing, such as the election, the economy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, sustainability, Saturday Night Live? All important. Why? Because they represent cultural shifts or indicators that we as marketers have to understand.
So what’s a marketer to do? Easy: adopt Cultural Branding. Unlike typical branding strategies that tap into past trends or behavior, Cultural Branding anticipates market shifts so you can make adjustments early on to keep your brand relevant and your company successful.
How can you check the cultural relevance of your brand?
1. Study the culture of your customers. As marketers we must understand the cultural societies we are speaking to, find the inherent contradictions in those societies, and use this understanding, via branding, to create meaningful stories that engage people.
2. Talk to influencing customers. There’s no better way to get valid information than from your customers. Does your brand align with their needs? Are there any obvious contradictions?
3. Read customer blogs. This is where the ground swell begins. Stay connected to what your customers (and their competitors) are saying and what they want.
If you keep your brand culturally relevant, you will make it easier for your customers and prospects to “connect” and understand why they should be doing business with you.
Until next month…

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