Building a customer base is about so much more than digital or content marketing, it’s about the story you present to your customers.

We often hear integration firms or brands say things like, “We need to post more on social media,” or “Our website needs to be redone,” but upon closer examination, the greater challenge is that they really don’t know what it is that they want to communicate. (Do you?)Take Sonos, for example. We recently worked on an article with the brand for HTA, and were really digging the story they were telling in their “Music Makes It Home” initiative, not to mention all the research they poured into the concept, which states, in a nutshell, that people enjoy their homes and families more when music is playing. According to 30,000 people surveyed from eight different countries as part of Sonos’ study, people who play music share more meals, say food tastes better with music, share more time together, and share more “acts of affection.” Talk about quantifying the emotional connection; this is something consumers can get behind because it hits home (literally). What’s more, Sonos knows its unique advantages in the market, focusing on a software-driven experience and rounding out the whole deal with corporate responsibility, including things like diversity and inclusion and social impact.Sonos – BrandingLeon is another brand worthy of believing in and has garnered a huge following of loyal customers for its unique mix of passion and purpose. You can see the passion in everything from artistry in product design to the Leon Loft series of concerts. As for purpose, in 2020 Leon partnered with Grove Studios to launch the Amplify Fellowship, a project that supports and amplifies the local African-American music community in Washtenaw County, MI. Out of many applicants, three fellows were selected to receive the resources to produce and record a music project in exchange for volunteer service to local nonprofits and supportive agencies. The Amplify Kickback Fundraiser is a virtual concert series that features Leon’s three Amplify Fellows — Kenyatta Rashon, Dani Darling, and London Beck — and raises money to help support the fellows and the local nonprofit of their choosing. I don’t know about you, but it’s initiatives like this that make me want to support this brand. I feel good about my purchases when I know my money is going to more than just the bottom line.

Leon – Branding

These are just a couple of examples of brands that are hitting the sweet spot of innovative products, unique stories, and passionate beliefs. Of course, it’s not just manufacturers that can or should play by the rules of storytelling, but technology integrators as well. What do you offer your local community? What is your unique story and how are you telling it to stand out in a sea of competition? Define your story and then tell it — enthusiastically, loudly, and often.

It really just boils down to not putting the cart before the horse when it comes to digital marketing. Take time to first define your story and your purpose and then build a plan to share that story to engage your target audience. 2020 brought on societal changes like no other year in recent history. That, combined with social media maturity, makes the marketer’s job more exciting and either more challenging or easier, depending on how well you have your brand’s story defined and how ready your company is to leverage it. Once it’s defined, then, and only then, will your marketing platforms begin to work for you. We’ll talk more about those platforms in a future column.

Until then, consider this: How well defined is your brand’s story?

Original article was posted here:

A 25+ veteran of the residential tech & AV integration industries, Katye McGregor Bennett is the CEO of KMB Communications, a boutique communications firm that anchors the intersection of technology + design by connecting brands, buyers, and prospective audiences through creating compelling content and conversation that elevates and amplifies. In addition to co-hosting Design Uncut with Veronika Miller, Katye hosts two popular podcasts, Connecting Tech+ Design and AV Trade Talk. She is a frequent contributor to Residential Systems and Connected Design publications. She is part of the DesignHounds influencer group and also serves on the NAHB Custom Technology Work Group, is a strategic advisor in the CEDIA, HTA, and AVIXA communities, a frequent contributor to Residential Systems, Connected Design and founder of the AV Yoga group.