Michael Mink shares 8 Ideas on Refreshing your Message: 

1. Cater to No. 1.

Put consumers in the center of everything you do, says Frances Dillard, director of marketing and global brand lead for Driscoll’s, a leading supplier of fresh berries.

Driscoll’s consumer research shows the brand delivers on the “emotional promise of making ordinary moments a bit more special,” she said.

“Remember, consumers make a purchase based on how a product or brand makes them feel — so tug at the heart in addition to appealing to the brain,” Dillard added.

2. Tell your story.

“Marketing campaigns are one of the most effective ways to amplify your brand image and distinguish it, particularly when they underscore that which is inherently true about the organization,” said Mark Viden, vice president of brand marketing for Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems.

“It is critical for a company to have a common vision that engages both consumers and employees alike, as we do with Dignity Health’s Hello Humankindness campaign,” he said.

3. Evolve.

Peter Sheahan, who along with Julie Williamson wrote “Matter: Move Beyond The Competition, Create More Value, and Become the Obvious Choice,” points to how Nike (NKE) established itself as much more than a shoe and apparel company to its customers with its Nike+ platform.

Nike “elevated its impact beyond the products it makes by connecting with the ultimate outcomes sought by consumers — higher dedication to and better results from their fitness efforts,” said Sheahan, founder and CEO of the Karrikins Group, a global consultancy.

“Nike is now a company that builds great shoes, and also delivers diagnostics, goal tracking, and global performance benchmarking,” he said. “It is creating positive behavior change in one of the toughest areas — health and wellness.”

4. Rebrand.

When it comes to communicating your identity, updating your company name can pay dividends, especially if you’ve evolved your capabilities significantly. That’s from Nick Luff, CFO, RELX Group (RELX), a global provider of information and analytics.

While their previous name, Reed Elsevier, had more than a century’s worth of history, with “our transformation from print to digital and now increasingly analytics, we were looking for a more modern, innovative name that reflected where we are today as well as where we’re going,” Luff said. “The moniker RELX Group better represents the scope of our business units.”

5. Align with influencers.

Seek out those who embody the key values of your brand, and who can be a great spokesperson, says Michael Cunningham, chancellor of National University System, and its anchor institution, National University.

6. Do so also with companies.

For example, Sheahan says that when consumer goods giant Unilever (UN) partnered with the Red Cross and Unicef for hygiene initiatives, there was a marked improvement in children’s health in non-Western markets.

7. Evaluate the status quo.

Marketing and branding involves a creative component that leaders can nurture. Mike Fucci, chairman of the board of Deloitte, the professional service firm giant, says that, in general, to be a “dynamic and effective leader, it’s important to always look for opportunities to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge your assumptions.

“An important part of being a leader is building a coalition of diversely gifted people who bring a unique talent to the team. When each member’s strength is maximized and recognized, the coalition of uniquely talented people can solve the world’s toughest challenges.”

8.. Highlight your differentiators.

Leverage your company’s strengths to give consumers credible reasons to believe the brand’s unique positioning, Dillard advises.

She says Driscoll’s commitment to great-tasting berries starts with proprietary seedlings “all done with Mother Nature — no GMOs. Sharing the why and how with consumers allows for a richer and more believable storytelling.

“We prioritize people and the planet for the greater good. These days, consumers expect trusted brands to lead positive innovation and change — so live up to their expectations.”

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