Communications Strategy is Never One Size Fits All

Think about the last time you went shopping and fell for one of those “one size fits all” garments, only to find yourself later feeling less than comfortable in your new wear. Much like clothing, your company is best served by a custom-tailored fit and not a one strategy fits all mindset. In order to get the best fit with your customers, your brand must tailor its marketing communications strategy.

Here are a few points to consider when finding the right size:

No one brand is shaped the same.

If you Wikipedia “one size fits all,” it’ll tell you that for women’s clothing, one-size-fits-all is actually more likely “a medium size (able to expand), rather than actually fitting petite or XL sizes.” I don’t know about you; but, that doesn’t sound like a great fit. And, just like the size of the clothes, no one brand is shaped the same either. Even if you’re in the same line of business as another company, you will always have something the other company does not – your own unique story and connection to your customers. Moreover, because proper strategy is guided by your company’s goals and objectives, it should never be the same as another company’s strategy and especially that of your competitors.

Know your measurements.

Setting an effective communications strategy always begins with the research. The research entails taking your company’s measurements – number of loyal customers, repeat business, engagement, usage, visits, sentiments and more. In order to achieve the best fitting strategy, it’s important for your company to be realistic about your size.

Gaining a clear picture of key insights for your brand means everything when setting your strategy. Research can be as simple as a survey or as in-depth as targeted focus groups or one-on-one customer interviews. At any rate, this is one of the key steps in achieving that custom-tailored strategy. Don’t skip the fitting or guesstimate your size. At best it may mean a few alterations; and, at worst, it could lead to a very costly problem or need to re-strategize altogether.

Don’t stick to one style.

You don’t have to be a fashion guru to know that what’s in style changes. And, that’s not to say your company’s strategy should change as often as what hits the runway; but, it should always be evolving. As your brand evolves, so are your customers. It’s crucial to have a dedicated communications strategist always engaging, measuring and evaluating the strength of your brand’s connection with its customers.

Marketing communications doesn’t just happen when you’re pushing a new product or service, that’s how you build a transactional relationship with your customers. If you want to build a more meaningful, relational connection with your customers, that requires a company to prioritize strategic communications as an active, core function of the business. Brands need to listen and build personal relationships with their customers in order to garner brand equity and earn their customers’ preference for their brand again and again.

Know when it’s time to move on to something new.

Even your favorite dress must be retired at some point. Successful strategies are also not evergreen. Just because you had a good campaign with one strategy doesn’t mean your next one will be great with the same. With so much noise and clutter out there among so many competing brands, it’s even more important to listen to your customers and let them lead you towards your next great strategy. Look at Burger King just last week in the Wall Street Journal. After years of trying to be like the other fast-food and fast-casual brands; or, worse, trying to be the everyman to both traditional fast-food and new health-conscious customers, they finally decided to return to their roots. Which, in the end, is really just something new again!

Your company is unique and one its own. Don’t think the “one size fits all” strategy will be the right fit for you. Strategies aren’t for copy/pasting. Those kinds of strategies fit you about as well as your older sibling’s hand-me-downs did – not really the right fit and never truly feeling like your own.

Setting the right strategy for your company should be a careful, thoughtful and dedicated effort. And, if needed, one that involves and an outside expert tailor too!