One of the toughest tasks an ad agency can deal with is developing and enforcing a brand voice. This task sounds simple at first, but can often turn into quite the daunting task-especially when the brand is new. This leads to the question: How does an agency promote a new brand from scratch?
IV Creative’s newest client, Walking the Plank (WTP), is a start-up brand that wants to tackle a very niche market. After identifying a need in the surf community, the founders of WTP wanted to create a medium for information within the surf community, different from the current big hitters in the surfing world like Surfer Magazine, Stab Magazine, the Inertia, and even the smaller information disseminators like Kook of the Day and Beach Grit.
The trick for IV Creative now, is how can it make WTP take on special persona within a smaller, niche market AND get the brand’s name out into its target audience?
This is Phase I:
… is the most important thing to obtain at first. When the brand goes public, it needs to hit the ground running full steam. Content planning is the most crucial item on IV Creative’s to-do list while building this brand’s voice and recognition. Pushing WTP will require the ability to actively stay in WTP’s target audience’s mind heavily while it first rolls out. That means staying in Twitter and Instagram feeds. The only way to to that, is to have content.
Content also creates the brand’s voice (while you are achieving brand recognition, your audience will begin to recognize what the brand’s persona is). WTP can post funny videos and pictures of scantily-clad women a few times a day (like Barstool Sports), but can this type of content negatively impact the validity of WTP’s reporting on news in professional surfing? Mediums like Barstool Sports run into the trouble of being taken seriously, as was seen when Barstool Sports was denied credentials by the National Football League for Super Bowl coverage (admittedly, there were antics performed by Barstool Sports earlier in the NFL season that helped lead to the pulling of Barstool Sports’ credentials, but the case still stands that Barstool Sports is generally not taken seriously as sports news, but is more of an entertainment medium with sports opinions).
The reserve effect of only posting content with sports information puts WTP in line with stiff, traditional news media. If WTP only posts news, and the occasional funny video and dicey picture of a girl, the content does not properly fit the voice of the brand (although in some cases, it can work. That is a client specific issue).
This leaves Walking the Plank walking a fine line between being taken seriously or as a joke. As IV Creative takes on this newest branding assignment, we invite you to watch our branding strategy unfold.
Phase II will feature IV Creative’s task of hitting the target audience after having loaded up on content that holds a consistent and similar voice that sets the tone of WTP’s brand persona.