I’ve always admired how so many B2B marketers are control freaks. We control details and deadlines and, most importantly, our brand. It’s all about brand and message consistency and uniformity across divisions, products, platforms, people and in some cases countries. Protect the brand at all costs!
But now, due to the socialization of buying and marketing, it’s more difficult to control your brand. In fact, you have to let go, at least a little bit, and let your stakeholders (your employees, your customers, your suppliers, your fans) promote your brand.
When you let go, others will share your brand
Where will others share your brand? In phone conversations, at conferences, via email, in LinkedIn discussions groups, on blog post comments and on Twitter.
Make it easy for others share your brand
If you have set up consistent, “share-able” materials and messages, your stakeholders and followers can easily share them. The more you provide, the more they will share.The reason is because you are not the one saying “My brand, blah, blah, blah” (Boring! Old School!), but others are saying “That brand is great!” Or, “I recommend this brand.”
Move from Brand Consistency to Brand Fluidity
If your branded, share-able marketing pieces are created strategically, the result of others sharing them will be a brand that is consistent but also more powerful than ever before. In a great article in Smashing Magazine, If You Love Your Brand, Set It Free, Jose Martinez Salmeron calls this “brand fluidity.” He says that 100% brand consistency is no longer achievable, and we have to accept that.
So it is time to let go of 100% brand consistency and go with the flow. But don’t completely kick back. Your work in loading the social sharing stratosphere with great content and messages will pay off. The more you do to provide content and share and engage in the conversation, the more others will share.
Blog author Jennifer Beever is the founder of New Incite and the Chief Marketing Officer for Hire for B2B companies that want to grow faster. Contact her today to find out how she can help your brand flow!