In the past, our marketing messages seemed to move in a linear progression: from sender > to message > to receiver. However, today’s marketing message is most effective when it is receptive to a return of message.
Validating your brand requires that you react in a creative way to feedback from a test audience. The test audience can share with you whether or not it believes you have translated your unique characteristics into an appealing message. Remember that you will be using elements such as imagery, photographs, art design, colors, text and logo. Your audience should have the opportunity to express opinions on all the elements under consideration.
Including your owners or stake holders as a test audience in the first phases of branding allows you an opportunity to observe the creative team’s responsiveness to feedback. At this phase, you can monitor the team’s ability to be open to criticism and new ideas; analyze suggestions as to their value to the marketing goals; and refine the message when advisable. This is a time to solicit ideas from the owners, prospects, residents, staff, vendors and Board. After looking at your message, if they can’t verbalize what you do and how you are different, then you have failed to communicate it.
Validation is principle number 4; we only have one more principle to cover: cultivate. We will cover that in our final blog about Branding next week.
Author: Patty Scotten
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.