#FutureofBrands: Communicating in the right context

As we experience profound and rapid innovations in our daily worlds, how we interact and communicate with each other, and how brands add value to their stakeholders needs to transform.

In many ways, it’s precisely that transformation which will require leaders and executives to ask some hard questions about how their brand can mean more in the lives of all of their stakeholders. That means taking a holistic view to include current and prospective customers, as well as all staff, investors, affiliates, partners, suppliers, and wider networks.

As brands become more personal, the messaging will become more and more targeted. Communication, marketing and advertising will become much more specific to smaller and smaller groups of people, even individuals. The approach will no longer be to just send the press release to everyone.

This will mean that context will deeply influence and expand brand messaging. We’ve all heard the axiom “content is king”. Bill Gates wrote it an essay 20 years ago. Content marketing regularly refer back to this statement. In recent years the axiom has for some expanded to “if content is king, context is emperor” or even “content is king and context is God.”

This isn’t about content marketing versus context marketing or hierarchy of axioms. It’s about being strategic and recognising how all of these things are interconnected and intertwined.

The important point is that the best communications are unable create value if they’re not happening at the right time, in the right way and with the right people. When taking an audience-first approach, the best brand and communications strategies take all of this into account.

Personal and personable brands of the future which are driven by customers, will be this strategic.

Tailor your messaging for specific groups of people and make sure it is in the right channel of communication. If you have an announcement to make, take your different audiences into account and shape the message for each group so that it is in context. The announcement may relate to other internal projects and the message can connect the dots so that staff can understand how the announcement fits in with their work as well as overall company strategy.

That same message will mean different things to external groups, or even different types of customers. Tailor your messaging to your audiences and map how it will flow through the right channels to reach the intended audiences.

Whether it’s different cultural aspirations across regions, generational differences or simply different channels of communication, brand communications in the right context will enable meaningful messaging and conversation in the right context to engage the right audience.

When a holistic approach is taken to all interactions and experiences, brands and leaders will find that they can deepen their relationships with stakeholders in ways they haven’t seen before. And it’s relationships that will mean the most to many brands of the future.

Think about how you and your brand communicate with your may varied audiences. In what ways can they be improved to ensure those interactions are in the right context, at the right place and at the right time?