Client Talks: Brand Perception
Sep 16, 2016
Client Talks is a series of conversations between an agency and client, focusing on Content Marketing. For our final installment, John Lane, chief strategy officer at Centerline, sits down with Jason Poblete, content marketing manager at IBM Analytics: World Wide Public Sector. Check out their previous conversations here.
Brand perception – it’s top of mind for any client working with an agency. But is the status of a brand always top of mind for that agency? In order to successfully craft content for a brand, it’s important to assess brand status and perception – and keep reassessing as content is distributed.
Jason Poblete: Another essential for both the client and agency to understand is the status of the brand, and the brand perception among the greater public and among the specific industries, because that is going to allow you to really shape what you’re doing next.
If my industry is already convinced that IBM is a thought leader, then we don’t need to waste convincing them that. We need to spend time engaging them and communicating with them, and letting them know that we understand what their problems are. This will enforce our leadership, and establish a partnership.
John Lane: That’s an interesting point. I think agencies and clients don’t often do that enough.
They come together, they think a lot about the product or service that they are pushing most in a particular effort. They think about how that product or service is being accepted in the marketplace, but I don’t think they elevate the conversation enough to say, ‘The bigger brand – how is that perceived in the marketplace, regardless of the product or service we’re talking about? What do we have permission to do?’
So why not think about the brand as a persona itself? We create a persona around a brand, then say, ‘This is where the status is now if this brand was a person. Let’s come back to it in a month or two and see how this has changed, how it hasn’t changed, what are the conditions that make it change.’
Just like you have to relearn your audience on a regular basis, you have to relearn that brand status on a regular basis.
JP: Absolutely. Because you put content into market, that status and perception may change. It should change. It’s important to consider how brand perception evolves as you publish content, so you can be more informed when planning future content.
JL: We’re actually talking a lot about iterative persona building right now. It’s that idea that for every piece of content that goes out, you should come back to your persona and ask, ‘Did this piece of content change our understanding of the persona? Did the response to the content change the understanding of the persona?’
I think that, like you were saying, the same thing applies to the brand. ‘Did this piece of content change the perception of the brand? Did it change what we have permission to talk about? Did it change the language that we should be using?’
I don’t know that all marketing conversations should go up to that level – but I think those types of questions stay at the product and service level far too often.
Jason Poblete in his own words: A 2012 graduate from Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business, Jason is dedicated to interacting with audiences using valuable and innovative storytelling to build relationships. He currently resides in Morris County, New Jersey with his wife. Follow Jason on Twitter.
John Lane in his own words: When I would watch TV as a kid, I would run to the bathroom during the shows so I could make it back for the commercials… they were more interesting to me. That interest in the connection between brand and consumer is still the driving force of my involvement in marketing strategy and content creation. Follow John on Twitter.