What’s your brand’s point-of-view?

Brand recognition for thought leadership takes stepping into the spot light.

Brand recognition for thought leadership takes stepping into the spot light.

Point-of-view marketing involves communicating your brand story through thoughts, deeds, and actions on how the industry should be served.  One avenue to achieve this is through social engagement marketing tactics. When your brand provides authoritative content, supported by experience or scientific facts, it is demonstrating thought leadership.

Sometimes it calls for taking a calculated risk and commenting on or providing content for a hot button topic. Controversial topics breed readership. The more the readership, the more the brand can play a role in educating and shaping public opinion.

Participating with organizations, associations, and publications

Depending on where your brand is connected with the industry, there are a myriad of associations and publications devoted to producing content for every industry segment.

Unfortunately, a lot of the content is opinion based on faulty thinking drawn from incomplete facts. Any hot button topic has its share of detractors and advocates. Wading into the fray takes fortitude and a willingness to listen to the opposition, understand their fears and insecurities, and acknowledge there is a place in the world for conflicting viewpoints.

The opportunity for thought leadership recognition comes from participation and providing a point-of-view substantiated by experience and facts. Brands that take the risk to step into the spotlight are rewarded with recognition for setting the story straight.

Brands that look for safe haven and to avoid controversy become one of many and relinquish their position of thought leadership.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo

As an example, take a look the big search, social, and tech companies. When the National Security Agency (NSA) ran amuck over our constitutional right to privacy, they stepped into the spotlight and offered a detailed look at the NSA’s activities based on experience and facts. National security is a hot topic with millions of detractors and advocates. They could have played it safe and said nothing, worrying more about their stock price instead of their social responsibility. Instead, they came forward, injecting themselves into the conversation and offering thought leadership on how to serve both the nation’s security interest and the privacy right of their customers.

Leadership brands understand the value of participating in the conversation that helps form policy.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

Finding your voice

How to gain influence through understanding

 Defining your brand’s personality

 Please leave your comments or thoughts below.

Aviation Marketing: How to gain influence through understanding

People-to-people marketing starts by understanding the customer’s point of view

People-to-people marketing starts by understanding the customer’s point of view

The goal of aviation marketing is to influence a particular group of people to take a desired action. If you’re an airline, it’s about building brand loyalty and selling seats. For a component manufacturer, it’s about having your product specified as part of an avionics system or airframe.

However, many times aviation marketers make the mistake of trying to influence the customer’s purchasing decision by offering their point of view. This form of “hard sell,” based on an opinion, assumption, or previous experience, turns people off.

People-to-people marketing starts with seeing the problem from the customer’s point of view. Standing in the customer’s shoes provides the perspective necessary to understand their situation. Engagement is achieved by offering options and solutions for the challenges the customer is facing.

Three forms of awareness:

Situational Awareness: Showing that you understand and can empathize with the problems and challenges the customer is facing. Being able to connect with the customer’s reality provides insight as to what issue the customer is facing and the factors that influence the purchasing decision.

Personal Awareness: Demonstrating that you understand the customer from an emotional perspective. All of us have goals, fears, insecurities, guilt, emotional hot buttons, and limitations. Identifying the customer’s emotional need and offering solutions that connect on a personal level achieve engagement. Take, for example, vacation packages sponsored by airlines. The image of the family vacation touches the emotional need for family to spend time together. The secondary benefit is that the airline books seats to a particular destination.

Solution Awareness: This path enables customers to come to their own conclusions on their own terms. This is achieved by providing options and alternatives that empower the decision-making process.  By understanding what is at stake for the customer, marketers offer possibilities for making things better. Business jet interiors are a prime example of providing the customer with options and alternatives for finishes such as fabrics, leathers, carpets, entertainment systems, video conferencing and lighting.

Influence is achieved by understanding the customer’s point of view and guiding them through the decision-making process.

Aviation Marketing: Why marketing fundamentals are important in social media marketing

Airline Social Media Scorecard

Point-of-view marketing through social media can very effective when supported with proper brand positioning.

Successful aviation brands at their core hold a philosophy about how they will conduct their business, treat their employees and customers, and contribute to the betterment of the aviation industry. In social media terms, this is the brand’s point-of-view.

Just as the brand’s point–of-view provides a rich area for social engagement, aviation marketers must identify the brand’s value proposition and unique selling proposition (USP) to create a sustainable, healthy brand.  For aviation marketers this represents a convergence between brand positioning, product & service attribute/benefits, and brand beliefs and philosophy.

Value Proposition – The benefit your product or service delivers to your customers. The value proposition is the fundamental positioning of where your product or service sits on the spectrum of customer needs. In analog terms, it’s the 60-second elevator speech that explains your company’s offering.

Value proposition positioning:

  • Quality leader – brands that set the quality standard for that business segment
  • Low cost producer – brands that demonstrate best quality-to-price ratio
  • Service leader – brands that provide the longest warranty or most desirable return policies

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – A description of your product or service that differentiates it in a way that will make customers prefer and purchase your brand over the competition.

Unique Selling Propositions are based on attributes and benefits of your product or service that set it apart from the competition. Examples include:

  • Small size – uses less cockpit real estate
  • Lightweight – fuel efficient
  • Solid state technology – reliable
  • Delivered on time – meets your production schedule
  • AOG service capability – global service centers

Point-Of-View Marketing

Point-of-view marketing is about communicating your brand story. This is important in social media because it invites engagement, opening dialog between your brand, customers, and prospects.

Point-of-view is about what your brand believes and your philosophy on how a market should best be served. An ideal document to lay the foundation for point-of-view marketing is your company’s mission statement.

Point-of-view marketing can take many forms. These may include:

  • Social causes – Veterans Airlift command
  • Environment – biofuel, sustainability, green building practices
  • Product design – aesthetically pleasing, recycled materials
  • Integration – open source code compatibility
  • Simplicity – intuitive use sans complexity
  • Best-in-class – we produce one product and do it well

Interesting point-of-view marketing can drive social engagement. However, one should take into account that brand authenticity and a differentiated, unique selling proposition form the foundation for a brand’s success in the battle for brand supremacy.

photo credit: Mark Fidelman via photo pin cc