Google famously broke the rules about brand logo use.
While their maverick approach has paid off, general best practice guidelines are still relevant. Consistent logo use across marketing communications is one.
Another best practice is making sure you have contextual appreciation and a corresponding usage plan. Unfortunately, when that fails, the outcome is lousy communication.
For example, take the billboard that’s impossible to absorb at 65 miles per hour. The creative probably looked great on the computer, where the approver had time to take it all in at close range. But not on the interstate highway.
Another example is retail signage. Whether designed to be read from a fast-moving vehicle or just at a distance in the parking lot, the same principle applies: the communication must register quickly.
Of course, maybe the logo itself needs some design improvements.
The self-described “perfect hybrid of gourmet meets grocer” seems to offer an exciting food shopper experience:
“Our name was derived from all the healthy and natural ingredients we sell in our market and the inspired gourmet food we prepare with Italian, French, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean influences. Our complete line of natural, organic and gluten-free products along with our extensive deli, baked goods, gourmet prepared food, fresh seafood departments and chef-made gourmet catering is combined with everything you’d find in your conventional market.”
Great. I know what to expect and will visit. But what about the thousands of cars passing by on the 50 mph state highway every day? Will they be able to take note of the name and follow-up like me?
Not likely. Here’s the temporary sign on the main shopping center stanchion. You can’t read the logo driving by — nor via full-zoom on my smartphone camera.
Last week, the top executive overseeing the operations of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets selected Twitter to directly engage the team’s fan base, which I’ll discuss.
I’ll also share 7 Tips to help leaders navigate in this new age of omni-platform communications.
But first, some background.
In early July, after just his first season as an NBA head coach, Jason Kidd left the Nets in a controversial, messy fashion. Despite his reported power-play motivations, the Nets, specifically General Manager Billy King, took the high road in public comments.
There was much speculation about how Kidd should be/would be treated in the run-up to his return to Brooklyn as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks on November 19th, as well as continuing media coverage from both team’s perspectives.
The speculation was fueled by the first public comments on the matter from the team’s principal owner, Mikhail Prokhorov.
For non-NBA fans, note that Jason Kidd’s number is retired and hangs in the rafters of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Rightly so. Kidd was a terrific player for the New Jersey Nets, leading their transformation in the early 2000s that culminated in two consecutive appearances in the NBA finals.
Nevertheless, sports fans are typically dismissive of players and coaches who “don’t want to be here,” and it’s fair to say that Kidd wanted to be elsewhere. Prokhorov’s comments reflected that sentiment.
Irina Pavlova is President, ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., the business entity that oversees and operates the Brooklyn Nets on behalf of its principal owner.
Understanding the backdrop and context, take particular note of Pavlova’s personal account tweet a few hours prior to the game:
Well done! This is a superb example of leadership in action and effective, “taking the high road” communication. Importantly, Pavlova was able to change the conversation to where it should be – about the Brooklyn Nets and looking forward, not about the former coach. Her tweet was noted and reported by the media, including ESPN NY.com, thus propelling her message to a wider fan audience. Continue reading “Tweets from Brooklyn: NBA Team Exec Wins with Direct Customer Engagement”→
Increasingly, professional sports teams are taking their important communication messages directly to fans.
Powered by the ubiquity of the Internet and fan tethering to social media platforms, direct-to-sportsfan (D2SF) marketing offers pro teams an unprecedented, and unfiltered, communication vehicle to their fans and season ticket-holders.
What is direct-to-sportsfan marketing?
D2SF is a hybrid marketing strategy designed to enhance the relationship, connection and relevance between teams and their fans, especially season ticket-holders, via the creation and direct sharing of special access, customized content. It’s a combination package of marketing communications, content marketing, public relations, customer engagement and social media marketing.
In-house Broadcasting. Teams create their own reporting and broadcast content, typically with their own, paid journalists.
Coach-To-Fan Communication. This takes the form of letters, short videos and recorded telephone messages.
Owner-To-Fan Communication. Public letters, season ticket-holder messages and tweets are commonly used.
Communications expert Ivy Cohen, president and CEO of Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications, provides some perspective to help understand this developing marketing philosophy:
“The fan-team relationship is a symbiotic one. Teams need fans to establish the value of their brands and keep the franchise flourishing. Fans want to connect with their favorite teams for the psychic rewards of competition, winning, belonging, and a variety of benefits that come with entertainment, love of sport and following a season.”
“When player contracts were long-term, fans felt strong ties to individual players, the team brands were represented by a steady player roster and fans had strong team brand loyalty and player attachments. Since that system eroded, fans need more and meaningful ways to feel an ongoing connection to a team. Fans want to feel connected to their team and are seeking a persona to contribute that. Owners and coaches can be strong representatives for their teams.”
Overall, as a targeted sports fan recipient myself, I like to see what the coaches or owners have to say unfiltered. It’s a nice supplement to all the sports journalism. And, as a marketing observer, it’s interesting to note what and how teams decide to communicate.
Let’s look at two examples from the past few weeks.
Jason Kidd is the new coach of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, having controversially orchestrated his departure from the Brooklyn Nets sideline. You can read his letter of introduction to Wisconsin fans: