Making your firm an industry influencer – Business Daily
How much influence would you say your brand has? Can it effectively direct consumers to adopt a different approach to doing things? The degree of confidence you answer those two questions should give you an idea of how impactful your company is.
Beyond awareness, you should aim for your brand to have a good degree of influence over customers and other key stakeholders. As your sales and marketing overtures start experiencing the inevitable diminishing returns, a degree of influence over them will come in handy to drive your brand forward.
Brand influence creates a loyal following among your stakeholders. This will be the driving force for the adoption of the brand by the public. Interactions come effortlessly.
Any new product you launch will already have a ready market to test it on and the feedback will be fast, saving you valuable time. If the adoption of the product necessitates a rethink shift by the public, how well they come around to your way of thinking will largely be driven by the amount of influence you have.
How do you grow your brand’s influence?
A good place to start is with key influencers in your industry. Collaborating with them to initiate conversations on public interest stories, or running campaigns that the public can participate in increases your ability as a brand to affect action.
Depending on how well you utilise the influencers, they can transfer some of their powers to your brand. Also, regularly associating your brand with them grows your influence among their circles of influence.
Care has to be taken though to ensure the campaigns and conversations are relevant to the public. This is where content marketing comes in.
In content marketing, your brand will be seeking to provide answers and solutions to challenges the public is facing in your industry, and through this effect positive behavior change.
When your brand is the authority on technical matters, key skills, and the latest in the industry; it is positioned well to be at the centre of major industry discussions. From this position, it can provide strategic directions and guidance for the public to adopt.
With the right mixture of content, campaigns, and influencers, a community will grow around your brand. This community is there to provide feedback on how your brand is performing in the market.
They will, in effect, be influencing your brand’s strategies with key pointers on what the public considers relevant on a moment-by-moment basis. This way, your brand will always be on the right side of influence.
We are currently seeing how brands are increasingly being socially-conscious and forced to take stands on social issues. Those that choose to make social stands, on whichever side of the social issues, have seen their brands grow.
Some have gone as far as influence public perceptions, good and bad, on major issues such as racism and generate conversations that continue till now. This in turn is giving them record sales. Those that choose to remain neutral have seen their brands wane to the point they find themselves forced to take a stand to remain relevant.
Having top executives that are opinion leaders in the eyes of the public does not hurt. They become powerful contributors to your brand’s influence in the market especially if they are industry experts and share the same principles, vision, and purpose as your brand.
The best example of this today is Elon Musk. His strong opinions on subjects he has a passion for having seen his companies influence hugely not only the public but also other brands, investors, governments, and multilateral organisations.
Ms Kamau is the lead communication consultant at Commken Afrique Ltd.
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