5 March 2010 9 Comments

Brands: silence may no longer be golden!

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Brand equitybrand silenceSilence is golden is an age long cliché. I used to be a fan of this and I am still in love with it. But the events that are unfolding today require that a re examination of what used to be valid truths now require modifications or changes.

In the light of the age we find ourselves today, aimless silence is harmful. There is need to speak out your own side of the matter. It has been proven that being social today is far better than being dumb or silent. Every introvert brand needs to cultivate ability to mix with other brands, potential and actual customers. If you a keen observer, you should have noticed, everyone is talking; conversation is going on with or without your brand’s participation. If by chance, the conversation revolves around you and you are not there to present the complete version of the story, your brand will suffer in silence.

A Nigerian adage says ‘when you hear carry it, carry it and you keep silent, they will drop it at your doorstep/back yard’. The burden of bearing unnecessary loads as a result of keeping  silence may be greater than speaking out your mind. Someone asked me recently what if his brand does not have anything to say? Why trying to answer that question honestly, I stumbled on an article written by Chad levit on questions to ask about personal brand and I believe answering those 49 questions Levit asked in that article will give a brand enough things to say for weeks. In saying something, many feedbacks will be available to the brands to see more opportunities to promote, give value to the target audience.

But before your brand start talking, it will be great  to listen first, have  a strategic plan of what you are going to say and how, when, where to say what you intend to say. For corporate brand’s voice to be more effective, it will be great to get the top management buy-in. Also it is good to have a policy in place that will guide what to say. In addition to the above, honesty, transparence is important. It will be good to prepare for eventualities as there is no guarantee that everything will run smoothly without any hitch.

Brand need to build strong engagement that can help when there is a smoke. Being ready to be on top of breaking your own brand’s news as fast as possible is also essential.

So according to Chad Levit, let us examine some of the relevant things to say which may/will give your brand leverage. What makes you and your brand indispensable, what kind of value do you provide, your brand’s differentiation, expertise, why should anybody listen to you, what trends are shaping your industry presently, do you have success stories, have you contributed to any project achievement, how have you made life simple, bearable for others, what are you doing, do you have any social responsibility initiatives that have impacted lives, do you have photos of events you recently held? These and other questions when answered may give you and your brand a clue to what to say when you already have a plan. Can you share your experience?

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