A decentralized communication model is an essential component to the proliferation of brand advocacy. It starts with an intimate understanding about your brand and customers and manifests as a united movement, where sales/revenue are a byproduct of brand operations.
The model starts with intimate understanding of your brand and customers and manifests as a united movement, where sales/revenue are a byproduct of brand operations.
Examples of brand communications can be as subtle as including your logomark as a sticker in every product you ship, or as bold sharing the keys to your social media networks with a die hard fan. However to realize your decentralized communication model, it needs to connect your customers and employees with your purpose.
Here are the 6 steps you can take towards decentralizing your communications:
- Start with Soul Searching: Your best customers care more about what you stand for, than what you sell. For this reason you need to build your brand from the inside out. If you are already driven by a powerful ethos, then you can check this box.
- Setting up for Success: Once your brand foundation has taken shape, you can begin the process of aligning your organizational structure with it. It is a hard step for many brands to restructure based on brand values, mission and vision, but in the long run it is the only way to achieve success.
- Foster Ambassadors: No, hiring bloggers or social media trolls does not count. If you engage your internal and external audiences through a participative process of two way conversation, you will enroll them in your success – they will care because they can relate to your brand platform, and have a stake in it.
- Have Integrity: Brand integrity is achieved when your customers believe you are who you claim to be. If you’ve followed the other three steps correctly this should be an easy one. If you’ve nailed it, then your marketing communications are starting to sound more like a manifesto, with a call to join, rather than to buy.
- Keys to the Kingdom: Every communication asset from your visual identity system, to your brand vernacular, and your social media networks need to be considered a shared asset that you’re comfortable relinquishing. After all, if you have the integrity, what is there to hide or control? If you don’t own the media platforms or assets you need, it’s time to make some smart investments.
- Amplify, Moderate, and Engage: The last piece of the puzzle is how you actively cultivate brand affinity. Carve out a healthy percentage of your budget and repurpose for fan engagement, reward them when they do a good job driving awareness, preference, merchandising products, generating leads, making sales or even fielding customer service requests. Spend time with them, throw them parties, and talk to them in person and online.
Most importantly, the model allows you to become more relevant to the people that matter most.
The above might be a radical shift in the way you have traditionally approached marketing and is very closely in line with how successful NPOs operate. The beauty of this model is that it requires taking an honest look in the mirror and putting our customers hearts under a microscope, but most importantly, it allows you to become more relevant to the people that matter most.