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What's your Brand's Story?

Posted by Scott Christopher on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 @ 16:10 PM

Good marketers tell good stories - concise, compelling, and engaging stories. They have done the hard work of distilling down their mission and value proposition into a simple story that can be easily understood by prospects. When told well, the story engages customers on an emotional level (yes, even B2B brands) and eliminates all the guesswork for them in understanding "What's in it for me?" Strong brands also have alignment company-wide on this story. From the C-Suite to sales, from PR to HR - all are bought in. This belief company-wide doesn't just impact marketing and creative, but customer service, product packaging, operations and more. This is why we--strategists at a media-only agency--care about our clients' stories. Our media plans can either help enhance that story, or detract from it.

On the blog we like to showcase media ideas that do this well. Whether it is promoting cloud computing with clouds or a rain jacket through a rain-triggered digital campaign, when a media tactic furthers the message it is sharing - that makes a lasting impact. Remarkable creative is vital, but the media tactic must be aligned as well to make sure the story isn't sidetracked. We've all seen too many examples of that.


Sometimes if that good media idea doesn't exist, you have to create it. I traveled last weekend with my wife to Lookout Mountain, TN. This was our second babymoon and we traveled without our 20-month-old thanks to the grandparents. This allowed for some much-needed quiet as well as plenty of time with no schedule! One of our afternoons there, we walked over and took in the gloriousness that is Rock City Gardens. It has some amazing views and majestic rock formations - with plenty of kitschy touristy flare thrown in.

Besides being famous for its garden gnomes and beautiful views, Rock City is known for its iconic "See Rock City" barn roofs. While there I read up on this effective media tactic. It was the brainchild of the founder, Garnet Carter. In 1935 around the time when the love for cars was beginning to grow among Americans, Carter devised this plan to transform barn roofs to billboards. He hired a painter, Clark Byers and arranged with farmers to paint their barns for free in exchange for participating in this innovative OOH idea. They also paid the barn owners in Rock City passes and souvenirs - that they would then pass along to friends and family - or if they didn't want the souvenirs then they'd get 3 whole dollars! The result was over 900 barns dotting the American countryside greeting many families on their road trips or Sunday drives.

I love this idea because not only is it innovative and relatively low cost compared to the audience it reaches, it also enhances the Rock City story. Their mission is to "Create Memories Worth Repeating." These barn roofs have become a part of the American landscape (literally) and our collective memory- we've all seen them along our highways. It is fitting that a tourist attraction would use a nostalgic image that seems like it's from a Norman Rockwell painting to drive new family experiences. It doesn't hurt that the creative message on the barns have a pretty compelling CTA, too.

Last year we brainstormed an innovative media idea for our client, Georgia Center for Opportunities. Through their Healthy Families Initiative, this non-profit helps improve the lives of lower-income families through classes they offer around the areas of parenting, relationships and career. While brainstorming about how to reach the prospects (fathers) when they are most aware of their need, our controller thought of check-cashing centers. Another team member knew of a vendor that does printing on check cashing envelopes. After a few calls and some negotiation we had an excellent media tactic to present to the client that would reach their prospects within the target geography. The client loved our creative thinking, but were most excited about how it would enhance the HFI story and reach prospects we may have missed otherwise.


Do you need help simplifying your story? Do you need a media agency that will help enhance your story through strategic media tactics? If so, contact us today. What good media ideas have you seen lately? Please leave a comment below and let us know.

Topics: good media ideas, outdoor advertising, Rock City

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