This article looks at how language is a living organism and how language which “always worked” might not do so anymore - with dramatic consequences for businesses in every industry.
Millennials are native speakers of a new type of English. The “Internet English” has emerged to convey rhythm, cadence, emphasis and even body language. (1)
Language is alive beyond this changes > meaning of words change constantly or words get completely devoid of meaning, like the word “branding”.
Branding has been initially assigned the meaning of marking cattle to ownership. Then the meaning associated to the word shifted to advertising - a brand being a sign to designate a company, product or service. So you will distinguish between Soap A and Soap B which would actually have quite different physical properties. Soap A would be lavender, Soap B would be disinfectant.
Then the golden age of advertising of 60-70s would attach emotional values to the brand, creating brand loyalties.
But it changed. Whilst branding is still around as a marketing term, processes are changing. Saatchi & Saatchi’s process is lovemarks - building a love affair between brand and customers. (2)
Branding in the marketing field has become devoid of much meaning, by overuse. Mostly, it is now a matter of “let’s refresh the logo”, a graphic design affair.
By doing this, there are million of “me too” businesses in every industry. The visuals are quite similar, the content is near identical.
Time and budget pressures do not allow for investments in finding out what your “brand” is.
Refresh the logo, have a generic value proposition, neutral tone of voice, feature-crowded marketing collaterals, push for content which is rushed, bland and mainly ineffective, but for SEO reasons.
Marketing industry statements:
- Content is king.
- Video drives engagement.
But without a unique message, it is just an exercise of showing up to work, going through the motions and finally subsiding into throwing wide nets: PPC, email marketing, funnel marketing, direct marketing, hoping to catch a few pewny fish.
But competition is doing the exact same thing. Business survival and marketing are just a matter of luck. On Silicon Valley, investors do not even want to see marketing budgets. No money for inefficient marketing. Their message is loud and clear.
Putting meaning back in your brand is critical. It is the one thing which will streamline your marketing budget, increase ROI, establish your place above the noise and the crowd, build long term relationships with your customers = marriages.
A genuine brand would have your team members as advocates and will breathe life in your customer service. Which is now the make or break point of any business.
Purple Orca drives meaning from your business vision, your leadership style and the culture of your team, not the other way around. We do not believe in a “lick of paint” and we know from experience teams do not advocate brand propaganda forced down on them.
A genuine brand culture will absorb change faster, riding the waves of disruption. It ensures THE one point of support for pivoting strategies. “Give me one support point, and I can move the world” It can be your safe ground of sanity.
(1) Millennials’ written English.
(2) Saatchi & Saatchi Lovemarks The future beyond branding