When companies participate in M&A activity, they understand that there will be challenges associated with combining two unique businesses into a single entity. How customers will react to the combined business is a big concern. Managing customer expectations, ensuring that the company’s external brand is shifted smoothly and value remains high all need to be addressed in the external rebrand.
Over the past four months, our Brandonomics interviews on The Businessmakers have highlighted top brands and their marketing strategies. We’ve interviewed marketing leaders from various industries about their new strategies, their best campaigns and the direction they see their brand going next year.
I picked up a print edition of the Houston Chronicle today, and it was so refreshing to read about a local car dealership who is interested in the customer experience and their community. Many companies give these words lip service, but Tomball Ford is shouting it out and backing it up with their actions.
I can’t help but wonder about the new JCPenney brand strategy. When the company hired Ron Johnson last year I was sure he was brought onboard to share how he helped Target transform their brand into a “cool” place to shop. Or perhaps he was recruited by this well-loved retailer to shed light on how he positively impacted the Apple retail shopping experience. Although the new advertising for JCPenney has been intriguing, it seems to be making promises that do not match the shopping experience.
Stories motivate, inform and inspire. Like campfire stories of old, they are memorable because they invite the audience to “actively participate” and absorb key points by relating to the narrative elements. Because of this, storytelling is a powerful tool for brand communications (and let’s not forget social media too).