Have you seen this billboard on Hwy 30 in Ames, Iowa? I just noticed it the other day, and it’s rather fitting for our Thanksgiving Day post, don’t you think?
As I came upon the board, I thought it may be a local church that had posted it, but the closer I got, I realized it was a Randall Corporation board. I should have known, as Randall Corp. often uses this board to “talk about” things that are important to them as a company.
Consumers want to know: what do you believe in?
A brand is not built on products or services alone; a brand is a relationship. In our interpersonal relationships, we care about what the other person cares about. We want to know what’s important to them, what drives them, why they do what they do. More and more customers are treating their brand relationships the same way. They want to know what the brand believes in, and you can use marketing and advertising to tell them.
Whether it’s cause marketing or posting a billboard about your beliefs, customers appreciate a brand’s desire to share their personality. In fact, statistics from Cone Communications, a leader in cause marketing research, show that 83% of Americans wish more of the products, services and retailers they use would support a cause. They want to know that your brand cares about more than making money.
Personal beliefs and brand beliefs
Now don’t get me wrong, you should not confuse what’s important to you personally, and what’s important to your brand. In many small businesses, a brand’s voice is often that of the owner; however we need to take into consideration the target market as well.
If you’re passionate about saving chihuahua, that should probably only be your brand’s passion if your target market is going to relate to the canine cause. If you’re politically inclined towards a certain party, make sure you consider the implications that come with making that your brand’s value as well. Your brand should be comfortable in promoting its cause, but it should also match your target market’s passions.
There’s ROI in Relationships
Randall Corporation is in the business of property management. They could have posted a billboard about leasing space in one of their many buildings. Instead, they chose to promote a value that will move them toward building a relationship.
If you asked Randall Corp. if they posted this billboard to lease more space, I can about guarantee they would say no. They posted it to remind us that we should be thankful; and not just Thanksgiving thankful, but thankful to the One who gives it all.
However, will building relationships by sharing who they are as a company and talking about what’s important to them as an organization make them money in the long-run? I’d say yes. They are using their brand voice to have a conversation with current and prospective customers about what they value as a company.
What do you care about as a small business? Do your customers know you? Really know you? If you need help deciphering what your brand voice should care about, and subsequently talk about, let us know. We’re happy to help, as our passion is helping small businesses find their brand voice.
*Special thanks to Randall Corporation for sharing their billboard with us.