In 1960, Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt coined the phrase “marketing myopia”. The term describes a marketer’s short sighted view of focusing on pushing their own products and services as opposed to focusing on marketing from a customer’s point of view. Let’s face it, we have all been guilty of having taken this approach at some point or another in our careers.
This is not altogether a bad thing; it’s just about learning to differentiate between passion and bias. We all know brand love moves product. It’s not difficult to see why Nike is one of the largest selling brands worldwide. But Nike also has a monumental marketing budget and has been consistent in creating external brand love through all their initiatives since the launch of the brand.
The top of a typical sales and marketing funnel is brand awareness. Hootsuite reports an 8x jump in engagement when employees share content. Why would you, as a marketer, effectively try to purchase awareness when you could create it for free through your own relevant heroes?
Did you know Zappos employees turned down US$2 000 at the end of their training to stay with the organisation? Zappos launched this early exit payment as a way to ensure that everyone who works there really wants to be there. And they do.
Truth be told I’ve certainly failed at times in this whole brand love concept and when I have, it’s been because I’ve tried to create a separate internal and external strategy or I’ve approached it from a compartmentalised marketing campaign point of view.
The truth is internal brand love, something I’ve experienced within our team, is not created by marketing or HR. It’s lived, its felt and breathed. Yes, as a marketer, its part of my responsibility to make sure it’s easy to live and engage with. I do believe that the keys to ensuring brand love is through the LOVE approach;
- L — Lived (it’s in the invoices, it’s in the coffee, it’s in the chairs, it’s in the clothes we wear, it’s in the way we talk)
- O — Oprah-like (Can you picture Oprah saying “you get a car”? Sounds simple but give stuff away and not just any stuff but stuff everybody wants and begs for)
- V — Values based (values are the keys which dictate the way the brand is lived. For example if the brand is funky, that should reflect in all décor, dress and SWAG)
- E — Engaging (a brand is a real living personality, if you can’t engage, it’s just marketing BS – it means the brand belongs to everyone; they create it.)
The truth is, as marketers, a large portion of our role is to assist the organisation with the sale of a service or product. Ensuring internal brand love means the sales team wants to sell, it means that the organisation works together towards the common vision.
The vision of the company I work for is “Building Business on Social”, and when I feel challenged I’m inspired by this to continue.
I see it in my screen saver, I think of it when I get dressed and drink my coffee and when I debate with my colleagues. It’s this debate that keeps me engaged and it’s the little things, like my morning coffee, that make me happy.