Communication platform: falling in love with the product or losing money?

The communication platform is an integral part of communicating the brand with its audience and communicating its values. And to be quite simple and frank, as Thomas Macaulay said: «Only the mint can make money without advertising.» 

Someone comes out brilliantly to build a communication strategy and promote their brand, while someone tries his best and fails. How then to understand what distinguishes good communication from bad, and how to make “the one»? In this material, we will deal with it.

What kind of beast is a communication platform?

We exist in an era of an overabundance of information – this is a world where there are a lot of goods, brands are full of advertisements and ads, and for the consumer everything is perceived as “information noise”. Brands are fighting for the consumer and his attention, which is why it is so important to choose the tactics of the brand’s behavior in communicating with its consumer so that he likes it. And here, in part, the brand’s communication platform comes into play.

The communication platform is the part of the brand strategy that is responsible for how the brand communicates with its audience, and what it says to it while using certain communication channels.

Nota Bene: all the postulates of the communication platform are developed only based on the created brand platform, which lays the basic meanings of the brand, and defines its foundation, mission, values, and strategy of existence. What it is, you can find out more here.

And what about the goals?

The main goal of any communication and its strategy is to create a strong emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. What does this mean, you ask? A good communication platform has a superpower: thanks to this, we create long-term relationships with consumers based on love. Only then is he ready to forgive the mistake, recommend it to a friend, or come to the store again.

It is important to understand that achieving this strong emotional connection brings even greater results: this is the creation of loyalty, increasing the receipt and profit of the brand.

What is it, I understand – but what does the communication platform consist of?

A communication platform is a kind of framework for brand behavior. And if we take as a basis the understanding that each brand is like a person with its character, values, and beliefs, then the communication strategy may vary from this.

The main narratives in the brand’s communication platform are:

– brand communication strategy
– insight and key message
– tone-of-voice of the brand
– understanding of the main audience segments
– certain values, mission, brand territory.

Our strategy of working on the creation of a communication platform: everything on the shelves

The communication platform is developed only based on the developed brand platform, as this serves as the foundation for understanding which brand image should be conveyed to the consumer by the positioning and values of the brand. Therefore, based on this framework, you can determine the following way of working:

  1. Analysis of competitors’ communication in the brand category
  2. Based on the analysis and the main meanings of the brand platform, the idea of communication is built, which is based on the brand’s insight found
  3. Defining a free brand niche and creating a communication map with the layout of the key brand idea on the concept
  4. Determining the nature of the brand, its tone of communication, and the key message that will be delivered to the target audience
  5. Determining the brand’s interaction strategy and behavior in selected communication channels
  6. Final recommendations on possible brand promotion channels, on the use of advertising mechanics and media (online and offline) with examples of visual and verbal solutions within the framework of the strategy.

As a result of the work, the brand receives a detailed guide with the main idea of communication and its characteristics, preferred channels, and strategy of action in each of them, as well as possible solutions in the form of slogans, visuals, or mechanics.

Well, it is important to say: that a communication platform will be effective only if it corresponds to the brand platform, reflects hidden motives, and solves consumer problems.

What tools are used in the work?

Since the communication platform is a kind of framework that is built for each brand. As mentioned earlier, each brand is perceived as a person with its character and characteristics, so this also affects the list of techniques and tools that will be used in the work (and not all of them need to be used).

But, in general, the agency’s team uses the following techniques in its work:

Strategic Workshop

An important tool that is actively used in research allows you to dive deeply into the client’s product and find some hidden motives and facts that will allow you to form a more accurate insight. However, it is important to understand that this is joint work, where active involvement on the part of the client is required (it is not for nothing that we position ourselves as branding partners!)

Brand platform

This is a tool that is being developed at the previous strategic stage and is actively used in the development of communication. Since it is there that the character of the brand, mission, positioning, and USP are defined, which are necessary to build a way for the company to interact with its audience.

PESO Matrix

This method is used at the stage of selecting communication channels. This is a kind of balancing, which allows you to optimally distribute the budget, and based on the created matrix make a media plan and the mechanics of a communication strategy.

Media planning

At the final stages of the communication strategy, when the matrix of channels of the communication strategy is compiled, media planning allows you to determine the timing for each of the channels, and the frequency of their use and plan a kind of “schedule” according to which the brand will communicate with consumers.

How to understand that a communication platform is good?

We can think and say anything, but it is worth determining the effectiveness of the implementation of the communication strategy. To do this, there are several KPIs, based on which, after a set period, you can evaluate the performance of the channel matrix, and, if necessary, take measures – this allows you to be flexible and adaptive in today’s rapidly changing environment!

A few examples for a better understanding

It is important to know that behind every successful brand communication, there is the same communication platform. For example, fast forward to 1993 and look at the Snapple brand – at that time it was not a well-known soft drink in America. 

Snapple commercial with Wendy

What was done? In the era of huge, pretentious companies run by serious businessmen in expensive suits, Wendy suddenly appears — an ordinary woman sitting at the reception of Snapple and reading letters from ordinary people (part-time, Snapple fans) with their most ordinary requests and stories. It was an unprecedented boom. Something fantastic was happening with the brand — almost all 300 million Americans suddenly fell in love with it.

This is a good example of how, based on the revealed insight of the audience, a different strategy was built and a communication was created that hit the target and increased efficiency.

In 2003, Sony was experiencing problems with the brand, which could be described as follows: everyone knows and respects you, but there are no feelings. The task was to «revive» the Sony brand, take it out of the world of technology, and bring it into the world of people.

«You make it a Sony»

Fallon’s agency got down to business and developed a communication strategy, laying the idea that Sony and people need each other to unlock their potential. A person is the final component in every Sony. The main theme of the campaign was: «It is you who make Sony — Sony.»

Here, too, it is clearly visible how the work was carried out to find the insight that was laid in the basis of the communication platform, which raised the brand in its positions.

communication platform Patagonia

Creating a unique tone of voice is also not an easy task in any communication platform. One of the few examples that succeeded is the Patagonia brand. 

They built the tone of communication on the opposition to public “bad habits” (the company “Don’t buy this jacket”), as well as on the presentation of success stories, crystal honesty and real examples from practice. So, the brand has grown from a small company that cares about the environment to a clothing manufacturer.

FAQ: Useful questions and answers

How do I know if my brand needs a communication platform?

The communication platform allows you to build the most effective brand communication strategy by in-depth brand analysis. If you realize that you spend a lot of resources using a lot of channels, but the investments do not pay off and the results are not visible, then you should turn to this tool!

How will I be able to determine exactly what will be suitable for my target audience?

It is important to note that all solutions developed by the agency are based on in-depth research and analytics. And this already makes it possible to understand and justify certain decisions in the communication strategy that are aimed at the consumers of the brand. However, it is also possible to conduct various kinds of testing to verify the correctness of the hypotheses deduced ‘ – only then it will be possible to determine the appropriate directions for sure.

What should I do if my company does not have a developed brand platform?

The most important thing is knowing that it is fixable and not scary! We also provide a full package of services in the development of a brand platform, and then the communication block is even easier!

And then what should I do with a ready-made communication platform next?

A communication platform is a plan, a set of recommendations, and a structure for how communication should be built. Therefore, this is a very important document guide for those who are engaged in the implementation of communication, as well as for advertising agencies. This way you can quickly and efficiently get the result, avoid misunderstandings, and, most importantly, have everything in a whole and combined form.

How to understand that a communication platform brings results?

It is important to determine the pool of KPIs for which, after a set period (for example, 3 months or 6), you can evaluate the result, determine where there are strategic gaps and, if necessary, adjust the strategy.

In conclusion

You can try long and hard to hook your audience, but without the right tactics and deep understanding in today’s world, it is very difficult to make a consumer fall in love with a brand. It is important to remember: that the consumer is often indifferent to the number of adjectives that brands hang on themselves. He only cares about what the brand can do for him. Instead of just advertising ourselves, any product or service needs to express what we want to be and convey it to the audience, making their heart beat faster.

Let’s create together a communication platform that will really work

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