Archive for the ‘brand image’ Category

Image from MediaBistro: Agency Spy

Aflac has been having a major identity crisis, having difficulty getting their audience to truly understand what it is that they do- if 100 people were asked, only 4 would know.  The duck has been the company’s image through all of their campaigns and when switching to their new ad agency they intend to keep the relevance of the duck. Their new challenge is to generate interactivity, utilize integration marketing, and provide relevant information. Their new campaign, “You Don’t Know Quack,” was launched in January and is an integrated marketing campaign where they, for the first time, are using new social media in addition to traditional media tactics. The “You Don’t Know Quack” campaign has strategies around four markets: consumers, business-to-business, product-specific executions and insurance brokers.  According to Jeff Charney, Aflac’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, they are striving to go from recognition to definition and a household name to a household need, as he explains in this interview with Forbes.

Since they are asking people to “get to know quack,” they want to give the audience a chance to share what they do know about Aflac. Their new consumer generated initiative is, “Aflac in 10 Seconds.” It is a challenge to the people to create a 10-second video describing what it is that Aflac does for its consumers. Videos can be posted to both their company website or on the Aflac duck’s Facebook page. The contest ends on April 18 and anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to win the $25,000 prize. The three-runners up will win $1,000 and all four winners will receive an Aflac snowboard like the one in the promotional video.

Why this campaign should be successful:

Aflac is not changing its brand image in their new campaign, only reconstructing their brand identity in the eyes of the consumer through user-generated videos.

Their goals of interactivity, integration and information are all tied together; they have a very interactive website, the information is given by both the company and users, who are the most widely trusted source, and they integrate the same message into all aspects of their campaign – billboards, social media, TV ads…

They are focusing on their relationship with their audiences. Since the audience is unaware of what Aflac is about, they are putting the power of the message in their hands, building trust on both sides of the relationship.

Ultimately, they are showing their transparency. Trust in their consumers and the idea that they are not changing who they are but be who they are and getting people to see that, stresses their aim to be transparent.


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The importance of one brand image and identity is important not only for your company in distinguishing yourself from your competition but also to hold onto your consumers – to not confuse them and to be perceived as a strong, united entity. Consistency in your brand builds trust, whether we are talking about traditional media or new.

Take for example Coca-Cola… they have had the same logo since 1885, that’s 125 years. Everyone knows Coca-Cola and can recognize their logo by the script font, the color, its use, etc. Kameron Hurley discussed a logo survey where segments of the Coca-Cola logo were taken and only the color was changed and most people could not identify it. When they pulled a segment from the actual logo, it was easily identifiable. This shows that the simplest f modifications to your brand can affect the way your audience perceives you.

Pepsi, Coke’s main competition, has changed or modified their logo about 11 times in 125 years while Coke has maintained brand consistency. This may account for the way that Coke has taken over the market and Pepsi has continually struggled to keep up. You don’t want to dilute your brand or confuse your consumers by not maintaining a steady brand identity.  Consumers build a relationship with your brand and your image is a huge part of that relationship.

Your brand image or identity stretches far beyond just traditional media or your logo; today, websites are a vital part of brand image. When people want to search for information about your company, more often than not they will type in “yourorganization.com” or do a Google search that will ultimately bring you back to your site as well. You want to reflect the same message, the same image, and your logo in the website as you would in TV advertisements, magazines, customer service or your product in general.

Also, as I’ve discussed in my previous post, Social Media Strategies, you also want to coordinate your internal teams such as IT, marketing, and corporate communication teams in order to better assist in your company’s strategies to reach your overarching goal. As with everything else, your audience will only see you as one entity and will get confused by different messages coming from different silos within your organization.   

H&R Block is a great example of how an organization should coordinate their brand silos around one specific goal, therefore one message, on entity, on brand identity. Their viral marketing campaign is targeted at people who do taxes themselves- they want to help that specific audience. They utilize an integrated social media approach, working with the entire company, to produce digital tax solutions in order to establish their singular brand image. In the video below Amy Worley from H&R Block discusses their leap into their social media strategy and the importance of one brand image.

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