Marketer, stop hiding behind your brand!


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Who should be a brand’s main ambassador? The main user of the brand? The first person to try a brand? Who do you think?

I expect the brand manager him/herself to be the main ambassador. The brand manager represents the brand’s values. He/she knows how to communicate these values clearly to the target group and continues the strategic expansion of the brand. This person is the first in line to defend the brand if and when necessary and to promote it when possible. Am I right?

I think that a lot of brand managers do an excellent job. Belgium has some beautiful local brands and the big international brands also enjoy a great reputation here. Yet I do see a source of underused conversation potential. Why do brand managers not talk more frequently on online forums about their brands, their plans and their ideas? I see so few of the brand managers sharing their new campaigns on Facebook with their friends. Chances are, though, that I would view the commercial on Facebook in greater detail than on TV, for the simple reason that I can admire my friends’ work.

The odd thing is that brand managers are always available in offline media to jump in when and where necessary. If any explanation is required for papers, radio or TV, they stand up for the brand. Unfortunately the offline media are a little too interested in brands when things are not going well, which puts the brand manager in a defensive position slightly too often. Strange, in fact, that the spokesperson’s role is always taken up offline, but so rarely online.

Hence my appeal to brand managers: stop hiding behind your brand. Be a proactive, public ambassador for your brand. Share your stories and ideas with your network and with consumers. Show them your face. At congresses we have been talking for years about brands becoming more human. Well the easiest way is to show the person behind the brand. Furthermore, as brand managers, you will receive feedback from the market more rapidly and more directly. The relationship with the target group will be reinforced. The chance of making better decisions will therefore increase. And I think the brand will only benefit from this. I look forward to brand managers who will soon start sharing their stories with us more frequently.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Van Belleghem
Steven Van Belleghem is inspirator at B-Conversational. He is an inspirator, a coach and gives strategic advice to help companies better understand the world of conversations, social media and digital marketing. In 2010, he published his first book The Conversation Manager, which became a management literature bestseller and was awarded with the Marketing Literature Prize. In 2012, The Conversation Company was published. Steven is also part time Marketing Professor at the Vlerick Management School. He is a former managing partner of the innovative research agency InSites Consulting.


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