Why your brand’s POV needs to RIP

A Point of View is different from a marketing or brand message and having a unique Point of View can benefit your customers and your business.

A Point of View is different from a marketing or brand message and having a unique Point of View can benefit your customers and your business.

When I say that a brand’s Point of View needs to RIP, I’m not talking about resting in peace — nor am I talking about a premature death for this methodology. But before I elaborate on what RIP means in this context, let’s take a step back to examine what a Point of View is.

A couple of years ago, Text100 analyzed what some of the most successful brands in the market – such as Dove, Nike, and Coke — were doing with their communications programs. We noticed one unifying theme across all of their marketing and communications assets – they stood for something that meant a lot to their customers. Dove stands for real beauty, Nike stands for a can-do attitude, and Coke stands for happiness and shared joy. Boiling it down into simpler terms, you could say that these brands have a Point of View that resonates with their customers’ world.

 

Isn’t that the brand message?

A Point of View is different from a marketing or brand message. This chart should illustrate the differences more clearly:

Attribute Point of View Marketing Message
Focus Customer Company / Brand
What is it? Opinion / Stand for Something Sales Message
Addresses Customer problems Product Benefits

 

Essentially, you could say that the Point of View is another way of applying design thinking to communications. Instead of taking a company-centric approach to messaging, the Point of View looks at the customer’s biggest challenges and translates them into a brand opinion that helps the customer make sense of his or her world. Bringing the communications / PR ethos into play, this opinion attempts to inform or educate, does not sell, and attempts to create long-term brand recall.

 

It’s not a tagline

One thing to be clear – a Point of View isn’t a tagline. You might deduce this from how I explained what Dove, Nike and Coke stood for. But beyond the tagline, you’ll see that these brands used the Point of View in almost all their communications.

Let’s take Nike for example: Its “can do” spirit is clearly seen in the Nike+ line of products, software, and services. The Nike+ brand is all about taking charge of your own performance and improving it through data-driven training. If “Just Do It” was a mere tagline, do you think Nike+ would have come to life?

 

Creating a point of view

At this point, I hope you’re clear on what a Point of View is and how it’s different from other approaches to brand communications. Next, let’s dive a little deeper into a three-step methodology that I’ve used with clients to create a Point of View. This is where RIP comes in (the big reveal!). The acronym stands for Relevant, Insightful, and Provocative, which are the key elements that your Point of View needs to contain.

RIP Principles

A very recent example of a stimulating Point of View is Jack Ma’s famous claim that Chinese-made counterfeit products have gotten better than the genuine article when addressing the issue of how such products are proliferating into the e-commerce space. It’s an issue that Alibaba’s merchants have definitely been thinking about (resonance), and the claim is provocative. This Point of View also provides insight into a trend that may be leveraged to the benefit of merchants and manufacturers.

Why do I personally like this methodology so much? It’s because, from a communications and marketing standpoint, it can be used to create new products or services (as Nike did), inspire new campaigns (Dove), and, at a most basic level, serve as an anchor for developing assets across a spectrum of marketing and communication channels.

In today’s increasingly content-polluted environment, it can be hard to rise above the noise and get your audience’s attention. A Point of View can help one stand out, because it’s designed to create debate and start conversation.

Has a Point of View benefited your brand? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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