Being “The Best Kept Secret” is not a strategy. Unless being a secret is your strategy.
There is something humble and charming about cause-driven and underdog brands. In the drive to be distinct from the dreaded “corporate brand”, they consciously avoid of the trappings of commercial success—bold, consistent identities; clear, consistent messaging; confident, consistent experiences. Or worse, these organizations disrupt and prevent anything that resembles a brand plan so that they (and their peers) won’t feel like they “sold out”.
Yet these hardworking people—more passionately committed to their business and cause than most commercial enterprises—still feel entitled to the same attention and success of their profit driven peers.
Awareness isn’t relative to the passion and purpose of your organization. Awareness is driven by proud, focused communication.
The only way an experience is of any brand value is if I know it’s an experience with you. There are numerous opportunities for touch points, and all the different senses come into play, but if I don’t know which brand is responsible for the experience, an opportunity is lost. If you purposefully avoid identifying the experience, your investment is wasted. And it’s terribly unfortunate if I believe your positive experience is actually connected to a different brand.
In a misguided belief that corporations are evil merely because they strive for profit, investing in the best practices and identity standards that are simply par for the course in corporate world are often shunned. The “best kept secret” might be a cool theory, but it’s a lousy brand strategy.
A great brand strategy thrives on awareness, driven by distinct, compelling, and clear communication. Consistency matters; time matters; frequency & repetition matters; being engaging matters; being bold matters.
A vivid identity matters.