Pre-COVID, even the hardest-core conversion optimization teams were getting dreamy-eyed about branding.
Digital Marketer rescinded their ‘nothing matters but the conversions’ POV with an apologia to branding.
Conversion XL (CXL) came out with a branding course not much later… after a while of Peep Laja dropping hints in that direction. Case in point:
“The world has a massive sameness problem. Like ridiculously huge.
It’s one of the key obstacles for most companies. Most are working on incremental improvements instead of differentiation. Because it’s hard. It involves risk and changes, venturing into the unknown…
In the end, you can’t compete on features, (most) everything that you that works will be copied. You might have a 2-year runway. The differentiation has to come from other places than features (and the work on it never ends really).
Yet – very little of value has been written on differentiation – while it’s an essential part of the brand and strategy, company’s ability to compete in general.”
That was before the lock-down changed our horizons. A “2-year runway” sounds pretty incredible now, at a time when companies are wondering if they have a two-month or two-week runway.
February 2020 seems like an era of incredible decadence. Back when we were naive and could tinker with the bright bauble of branding.
(I already have a cartoon version of business pre-COVID in my mind and it involves that Monopoly man throwing around cash.)
But today, we know one thing. We should be ruthlessly prioritizing. That’s what those who have gone before us in recessions say.
Meanwhile, we’re compulsively checking the news, checking in on each other.
And it’s hard to tear our hearts and minds from where they were pre-COVID.
Sadly, just as COVID doesn’t care whether you were sparking with someone on Tinder before remain-in-place orders, it doesn’t care if you were on the brink of creating an amazing brand.
Maybe you were in launch phase before COVID with a nascent brand, and now an agency seems out of the question.
Or maybe you have a small business and before COVID, you were thinking, hmmm, maybe we upgrade our website, differentiate from the competitor brands…
But now all that’s on hold.
Let me tell you:
A) Branding wasn’t just a dream from the peak of prosperity. It still matters, but only if it’s data-driven and focused on customer acquisition and retention.
B) If you can carve out time for deep thought (hard right now, I know), you can get smarter and more focused about the only important brand question:
Why you’re different and better – and how to prove that to your perfect customers.
Next Steps to Branding in 2020
I’m going to link right here to the downloadable PDF that explains how to differentiate and sell more when you optimize your brand messages to convert.
And then I’m going to teach as much as possible on this blog… with the assumption that any promise made today may seem ridiculous tomorrow.
But what I think always remains true? Even in times of chaos, we crave beauty, harmony, coherence, and the sense that taking that next action (that click, that sign-up) really will improve our lives.
That’s how I think of optimizing brand messages to convert.
So, even though times are lean, we never have to go back to hideously transparent direct response BUY NOW copy (in yellow highlighter) and infomercial-style writing that triggers every “is this even a company?” alert in a visitor’s mind.
Even if you DIY your brand messaging, you can make it credible, clear, and persuasive.