Any brand that can dynamically adapt comms to the emerging issues or trends while staying true to its core narrative will be a brand that can tell a more engaging story. In a multi-channel world this is paramount. Waggener Edstrom has spent the summer months monitoring digital and social media to understand what successful ‘brand agility’ looks like. We believe that you need to concentrate on four core components:
Listening and learning
Insight and analysis must be shared across all areas of the business: customer support, R&D/NPD and senior executive teams who shape the direction of the business being the most obvious. This sharing should also be two-way. What can e-commerce provide? What insight does customer support have?
Creating compelling content
Our research showed most brands default to talking about themselves rather than creating content that customers would find valuable. Data can help you answer the question "why would our audience care or share our content?" This will help you identify the compelling content you need to create.
Speed and authenticity of engagement
Many brands are stifled by overtly risk-averse lawyers. They are unable to react quickly to external forces to gain the mindshare and engagement of their audiences. Even when they push out a response what is left is a cautious statement that lacks authenticity. In this situation, get statements and responses to the most pressing issues and customer questions signed off in advance or create multiple pieces of content that can be used dependent on outcomes.
This relies on an organisation pulling together disparate teams and getting them to talk the same language. Start with communication between teams and allow them to engage with customers. Then focus on the systemic challenges. Is your team structure what you need or a quirk of history? Are you structured to best reflect what your customer wants/needs? Finally, engage senior executives within the business who can ensure other teams are supporting and delivering what your customers are looking for.
|Gareth Davies is head of UK Studio D, Waggener Edstrom Communications
Gareth Davies has built a reputation for being a leading voice in helping brands establish and maintain their reputations online and via social media channels. As the head of Waggener Edstrom’s London-based Studio D team, Davies provides consultancy and guidance on digital strategy to clients across EMEA, and oversees the development, design, content and consultancy teams.
Waggener Edstrom Communications (WE) is a global, integrated comms agency. For 30 years, the independently owned firm has developed strategic comms programmes for clients, working to influence markets, inspire people and improve lives. The agency has been honoured with numerous awards. It has more than 750 employees in 17 offices, and its Global Alliance partners expand the agency’s reach to more than 80 additional international markets.