In my interview last week with Ron Tite on Breaking Brave … he said this.
“I don’t think there are brave brands. I think there are brave people who make brave decisions.”
Of course … Ron is right … it’s the people behind the brands who drive the bravery!
Personally, I believe bravery in advertising is ideas brought to life that have never been seen before, that challenge the status quo or simply agitate the audience for a response.
This type of work, that stands out as different and unexpected, has to be more memorable and effective.
Brand bravery involves speaking up and taking risks through initiatives, campaigns and content that makes us think, act and change.
The moment you feel comfortable with your creative output, in my opinion, you cease to innovate.
You have got to really feel the fear to know you’re onto something good.
You have to experience that scary anxious belly flip feeling, the one that feels like you’re sweating and potentially upsetting a few people.
A client of mine at McDonald’s always said that if the creative didn’t wake him up at night in a cold sweat, it wasn’t good enough!
It is critical to have the energy and tools to challenge the daily noise and ask the uncomfortable, sweaty questions.
What are we doing if we’re not being brave?
Littering the internet with average ideas? The ambition and the goal must be to be brave. It has to be.
So How Can a Brand (or rather the people behind it) Be Brave?
1. Be Authentic
In a world full of misinformation and empty promises, consumers look for brands they can trust. Be authentic in your messages and ensure that everything you say is true. Don’t try to be something you’re not—just be yourself.
2. Be Bold
Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Try new things and experiment with different tactics. Push the envelope and see what works for the brand. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out—but the best that can happen is that you find something that really resonates with your audience.
3. Be Human
With so much competition, it’s important to remember that your customers are human beings, not sales numbers.
Treat them like individuals and give them the respect they deserve. Talk to them like you would talk to a friend to build strong relationships.
4. Be Different
In a sea of sameness, being different will make you stand out. Find your niche and focus on what makes you unique. What can you offer that no one else can? How can you tell your story in a way that matches your brand personality and is engaging?
5. Be Relevant
Make sure that everything you do is relevant to your audience. Don’t try to be everything to everyone—focus on the people most likely to be interested in what you have to say. And keep your marketing messages timely and relevant to the current conversation.
Also always remember that being brave in your marketing doesn’t have to be a big, risky move—sometimes it can be as simple as trying something new. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, be willing to take some risks. So go out there and be bold. Try something new. Your customers will thank you for it.