How Thought Leadership Can Skyrocket Your Brand

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How thought leadership can skyrocket your firm's brand

21 February 2022

Do you have an exciting idea for a piece of thought leadership? Something that will get your brand the attention your marketing budget was built for? Sorry, it’s not good enough. That one idea is just a rocket in disguise. Sure, it will be admired when you launch it – but how long till it fizzles and falls back to earth? That’s not the type of sustainable brand building your business needs. Effective thought leadership is first imagined, then executed like a full-blown fireworks display.

The concept for a long-run communications strategy should be fleshed out, mapped out, and calendarised (within a degree of certainty) – whether your “program” is a series on one particular theme or one voice speaking to a series of themes. And that voice can be read in a document, seen in a video or heard on a podcast – but it needs to have a sustained cadence. Why? Because if your fireworks are planned and executed effectively, you’ll leave your audience wanting more.

Calculated cadence
Brand building is not a one-off experience. It takes time. For example, you don’t usually win consumers’ loyalty after only one purchase. It takes a series of purchases – each an interaction. That’s when a customer experience becomes a relationship.This is how thought leadership can be used as an amazingly powerful brand-building tactic.

The decision to pursue thought leadership often originates behind a theme or set of themes that the business wants to align with or offer a view on. To give those insights some teeth, you need to lean in and own the subject matter. Plan on having something to say more than once. No? You think the topic is a one-trick pony? Reimagine it from different perspectives and reshape your messaging for your audiences – and for the channels where you’ll find them.

Human storytellers
Who will speak on behalf of your business? Consumers often see companies as unreliable narrators providing sterile homogenised “advert-ganda.” Find the best spokesperson to speak to your audience. Or choose several. Transform the traditional B2B or B2C formula into the more natural H2H – human to human.

If your thought leadership is something important and relevant to your audience, then deliver it to them as the people – the individuals – they are. It goes without saying that your thought leadership, as part of your brand marketing, would have an authentic voice – that’s the colour in your fireworks display, an important part of why people will keep watching.

Communicating your communications
So, you’ve packed your thought leadership into a well-crafted set of fireworks, and you’ve planned the timings of their launch. What’s next? Well, you don’t want anyone to miss your show, so tell your audience where to look. They might not be looking in the night sky, or in the right direction, so communicate in advance and repeat that invitation as long as your rockets remain bursting in air. Then – because they’ll be wanting more – tell them when you’ll amaze them again. This pattern of planning and executing the show should be the easy part of launching a thought leadership campaign. It’s the messaging within the thought pieces themselves that should burn all the calories. But often marketers don’t put enough effort into the support required to get those rockets aloft and noticed.

A process behind the purpose
As an agency partner to leading firms in three sectors with massive amounts of thought leadership – financial, professional services, and technology – Living works closely with marketing teams to prepare, control and measure their thought leadership programs. From analysing client research to the drafting of the thought pieces to the scripting and recording of videos and podcasts, we begin the process with a focus on the long run of the thematic content. We help build a cadence and calendarize the editorial output.

With our digital and offline design capabilities to enhance each edition or episode, we develop the thought leadership to be especially engaging. We craft advertising, social media and email campaigns to promote the program overall as well as each piece. And lastly, we collaborate with our clients on performance metrics and analysis.

When you have an experienced partner helping you deliver a critical marketing strategy like a thought leadership program, the results can skyrocket your brand.

Thank you for reading
To learn how Living can ignite your thought leadership program – from concept through creation, please contact Duncan Shaw in New York, Greg Hobden in London or Gigi Yung in Hong Kong.