I’m guessing that World Space Week is not yet on your planning radar, and unless you happen to work for NASA, Lockheed Martin or IMAX (which is airing a galaxy of recent sci-fi giants that week) I totally understand. Hell, you’re boosting your enterprise after all, you don’t have time to count stars!
Nonetheless, I’d like to suggest that you take the week of October 3 as a time to explore new horizons for your brands and accelerate the opportunity for your business to boldly go where it’s never gone before. To help you launch this initiative, here are five stellar ideas from five marketing supernovas.
1. Gravitate Towards Your Purpose
When I interviewed Jennifer Dominiquini, CMO of BBVA Compass, she was about to ride 500 miles for a charity her bank supports — talk about walking the walk! Her effort, she explained, ties directly back to an overall corporate belief that “everyone deserves a bright future and the chance to thrive in the age of opportunity.” The key insight here is not just that having a purpose can elevate your marketing, but that your employees must buy into the purpose and make it real through their actions.
2. Jettison Your Brand Baggage
If you’ve been in business for a couple of decades or more, chances are your customers think of you for one thing, even if your offerings have changed with the times. This was exactly the situation CMO Michael Mendenhall found himself in when he joined what was then named Flextronics nearly two years ago. Explained Mendenhall, “The name of the company was adding to some of the confusion relative to our customer value proposition.” Since dropping “-tronics” from their name and developing a new mission-vision-value proposition, the rebranded Flex has enjoyed a dramatic increase in sales and market valuation.
3. Support Your Quest With New Crew Members
Fact: we humans are hard-wired to respond to well-told stories. What is less certain, however, is how brands can become better storytellers. Maria Winans, CMO of IBM’s eCommerce group, believes that the secret is bringing in expert talent “who can create truly engaging content or know how to lead the creative storytelling process.” To this end, Winans has hired talent from Hollywood because “their ability to write scripts and plot out storyboards is essential to the kinds of communications we want to create moving forward.”
4. Engage with Your Earthlings (Privately, Too)
One of the ironies of the growth of social media is that many brands have pulled back from developing and nurturing private communities. I believe this is a lost opportunity, and offer Kieran Hannon, CMO of Belkin (Belkin, Linksys & WeMo brands), as the poster child for the rewards of revitalizing private networks. “At Linksys, we spend an inordinate amount of time testing out products with our beta community so we get a lot of valid feedback before it goes into production,” explains Hannon.
5. Expand Your Orbit of Influencers
Recognizing that brands, in general, have a “trust” problem, marketers are increasingly turning to influencers to help revitalize their consumer relationships. One brand that has had terrific success in this area is Viber, the global messaging mobile app headed in North America by Scott Nelson. According to Nelson, with influencers, “it’s all about authenticity,” so making sure they are relevant and that “they have a rabid kind of audience that pays attention to what they do” is critical. Working with Snapchat darling YesJulz was a win-win — Viber helped her gained 1.2 million new followers, while she drove thousands to try Viber.
Final note: If any of the above ideas rocket your reality, then feel free to contact your nearest terrestrial Renegade. Now go get started boosting your enterprise too big for this world.