Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Flight of the Dove: The Story of a Great, Consistent Communications Program

For some reason, I have been thinking a lot recently about Dove . For those of you who might not know (might be nearly all of you), Dove launched a fascinating marketing campaign a few years ago: "the campaign for real beauty."

I have probably been thinking about Dove because over a period of several years, with many brand extensions and new communications tools, they have been able to build a tremendously consistent positioning, branding, marketing, and communications effort. That's really hard to do. They continue to introduce products that are focused on "real beauty"; they have launched multiple programs focused on self-esteem; and have all sorts of social media activities focused on real beauty/self esteem.

Dove shows us that as communications become both more universally accessible through social media, it has also become more complex. That is, having a very clear and consistent message is all the more important when there are so many ways that the customer and influencer are touched.

Of course, at Roeder-Johnson we work technology start ups, most of whom are business-to-business companies rather than being consumer-oriented. But the same perspective is important with these companies. And, in fact, it probably is more manageable. Though unfortunately in this era of constrained resources, companies often forget that they can get MORE leverage by being thoughtful and consistent about their marketing and communications.

But imagine if a company had a clear "high concept" (like "the campaign for real beauty"), was able to develop products that reinforced this, AND developed marketing programs and communications through traditional and new tools that reinforced and built understanding of that core high concept? One theme, lots of leverage, and ultimately a lot of efficiency in building a unified brand.

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