Brand timing

February 8, 2016



Brand timing

At the beginning of every new year, the opportunity arises to take stock of your clients’ needs. To look with fresh eyes at how you help manage, curate and grow their brand.

There’s a sense that if you take your eye off the marketing wheel for more than a week you’ll swerve off the freeway into the trees, never to find your way back to the party. Gone are the days, we are told, of unsinkable brands that can survive year after year with little marketing.

But is this actually the case? Just how little can you do without dropping off the consumer awareness radar? The question is, is it ok for some brands, categories or products to market themselves a lot less than others?

Constant chatter is not always the ideal. There is an appropriate and relevant sense of time attributed to a brand. To communicate and respond out of sync with this pace is counter productive.

A tweet or Facebook post every day from your local coffee shop? Sure, feels right. An update every day from your bank? Probably makes you wonder why they aren’t ploughing their marketing spend back into better savings rates. There are some aspects of our lives that we only feel comfortable hearing about at fairly infrequent intervals.

The true value you can add, then, is to ensure brands are communicating in a consistent fashion, no matter how frequently or infrequently they talk. This is the genuine task for brand custodians such as ourselves – to create a pattern of communication that matches the pace customers expect from a particular brand relationship.

We may very well want constant chit-chat with our friends, but are quite happy if Aunt Edith only sends us a birthday card once a year. The timing seems right for these two, very different relationships. Similarly, hit me with three edms a day during your store’s sale and chances are I’ll delete all of them without even looking.

Brands that are perceived as being ‘fast’ include tech brands, FMCG (as the F suggests) and content providers of tv, music, movies and so on. Slower brands are those such as luxury brands, seasonal brands or products that are leaders in a narrow category and are a ‘necessity purchase.’

As a guide, the timing bears a correlation to the timeline of a customer’s decision to purchase. That’s why most luxury brands, with high priced products requiring a long purchase decision, communicate in an accordingly confident, slow-tempo manner. They still market (you have to market) they just do so at a slower, appropriate frequency.

The temptation to have a strategy of constant communication and sharing, simply because it seems like the thing to do, is no strategy at all. When it comes to keeping up the tempo for your brands, it’s not a case of one tempo fits all. Assess, plan and be true to the brand’s character.