Did you know that 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values? Last Fall I attended an online conference called Drift where experts talked about the importance of branding. One session in particular really sparked my interest – it was called, A Taco Without the Shell Isn’t a Taco – The Intersection of Brand and Demand, by Heidi Bullock CMO of Engagio. Here were the five main points from this session:

1.) Measuring everything can make you lose sight of the brand.

I cannot stress how true this is. When you have incredibly creative types who need the flexibility to dream and create in the midst of chaos, being bogged down by the numbers is inhibiting. Of course, any smart marketer knows that success must be measured, and that is OK! Just leave that for the end and the beginning of the brainstorming process.

2.) Remember, B2B buyers, are NOT robots that all of a sudden turn off all emotion. For many B2B companies, long-term brand thinking can be a challenge because of the pressure to deliver short-term sales. The brand has been ignored.

As a social media and digital marketing professional, it’s amazing how true this is. While many clients say they want to be bolder and more playful, they often times don’t want to take the risk. But what is an organization without its people? That is a key component of messaging. REMEMBER that B2C and B2B selling is really not that different and that you still need to win people over with sentiment and emotions.

3.) “The best marketing will not work if you do not focus on what your customer cares about.”

You can have all the greatest ideas in the world, but if your goals don’t align, then what is the point? The number one component to a successful campaign is to determine client goals and who the audience is and what they might want. 

4.) Buyers have a lot of options and brands need to appeal to the heart and mind of the buyer. How do they discover you? Why will they select you? Why will they want to stay with you? That is the brand!

What’s so important to remember is that you can appeal to the mind as much as you’d like but what really makes people remember you is the way you made them feel. Ensure that your content and voice appeal to your audience’s emotions, and you’ll capture their hearts and loyalty for years to come.

5.) Always start with the ‘WHY.’

Heidi spoke about a campaign #InCharge. It really touched her. The campaign talks about the promotion of the first-ever wrap dress. It does not talk about the features, style or even fabric of the wrap dress but it tells you WHY you should even care about the wrap dress. Don’t start with the 'what' because you’ll sound like every other company.

Here's my key takeaways: always focus on brand & demand together, know your target market & key personas, and leverage your story across a wide range of channels for demand.