Branding a Direct Response Company

In the last few months, the company which I work for, a stalwart in direct sales and direct response marketing for over 40 years, has decided to make a dramatic shift toward a more branded approach. As you might imagine, this is not a quick and easy process. There isn’t a lot of information out there on branding a DR organization, so we are making a lot of the rules up as we go.

So where do we start? Well our start has been with our voice. Until about 8 years ago, we relied solely on outbound telemarketing for leads. In the mid-2000s, the business took off with the introduction of our first 30 minute infomercial. As the infomercial wore thin we moved in to other hard-hitting DR type campaigns, complete with ticking clocks, lots of incentives, and pseudo-celebs talking about how much they loved the company. None of this built up a lot of brand-loyalty, and has left us with a lot of challenges today.

Now we are a company struggling to find a voice, a personality. And did I mention it is even more difficult since we are a franchise organization with over 100 franchisees each with their own ideas?

So our first big step in making the transition is letting our customers be our voice. Rather than a celebrity or a corporate personality talking about the brand, we are working hard to identify our brand advocates and let them do the talking for us. We are researching who our customers are and trying to find ways to communicate directly to them.

Eventually this new voice will permeate our corporate web site, our online, e-mail, TV and print advertising, our social media presence and any other form of communication we have internally or externally. The journey is bumpy, but our branding team has never been closer and as we continue to make strides it is exciting to see the rest of the organization jump on board.

I will get much more specific in future posts, but I hope you continue to come back to share your thoughts, ideas, experiences and opinions.

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