From The What To The Why: Creating Brand Value

CI-Group has been around since the early 80’s as a New Jersey advertising agency, and we have seen our clients have to evolve from speaking at their customers, to speaking with them. Today we are talking about the evolution from the WHAT to they WHY.

creating-brand-valueThe new Facebook for Timeline is now available to businesses, and that big, rectangular expanse of new cover photo real estate is just screaming out for high-profile branding. Just think: a virtual billboard on Facebook!

That’s exactly what Facebook doesn’t want to see on those business Timelines. The social network has laid down restrictions prohibiting companies from turning that space into an in-your-face advertisement. “”Our vision for you guys is that any (customer) interaction with a brand is just as awesome and as rich as interaction with their families and their colleagues,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told the audience during the first-ever Facebook Marketing Conference in Feb. 2012.

Those families and colleagues tell stories to each other on social media. Ads may be good, but stories are better, and that’s how you know that technology and social media has helped transform advertising/marketing from the What to the Why.

The What: companies telling people what to do, what separates their brand from those evildoers among the competition, what phone numbers/street addresses/websites/email addresses you needed to contact for more information.

The Why: People want to know why they should buy your product or services. Why is your product better? Why don’t you tell me a compelling story about it?

The 21st-century consumer – emboldened with the power that comes from 20 years of accessible Internet information and not quite 10 years of social media interactivity – wants to see companies working hard for their content marketing money. Education on common industry problems, commentary on the latest industry news/developments, soliciting feedback from consumers on what they want to see in a product/service…all that adds why value to modern marketing.

For those companies making the case for what they make or provide to consumers, the time-worn maxim “convince and convert” hasn’t just survived into the new century, it’s taken on added importance. Backing up claims involves real, organic testimonials and/or supporting information. If consumers detect the reek of inauthentic or false claims from brands, they’ll take to their social media megaphones and trumpet their opinions loudly on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

A lie may indeed race halfway around the world before the truth has time to lace up its track shoes. But a consumer gripe about a brand can leave both of them frozen at the starting blocks.

Hence the creation of brand value in the form of why content. And for those who aren’t yet tired of seeing italicized why’s, here’s one more: why should brands go through all this trouble? Because thanks to social media, companies don’t really own their brands. Their customers do.

That’s why.

CI-Group, a New Jersey advertising agency, provides digital marketing and advertising consulting to Fortune 2000 companies in a wide range of industries. Founded nearly 30 years ago and based in Whitehouse, N.J., CI-Group is recognized as a top advertising agency specializing in marketing strategies, event marketing, promotions, direct marketing, digital printing, warehousing and fulfillment. Companies seeking an award-winning interactive agency thatmerges creative strategies with effective tactics should call 908-534-6100 or visit

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