Monica Mayk Parham, Marketing Director at Market Connections, Inc.
Beyoncé Knowles is everywhere these days. Whether it’s debuting her latest hit via an H&M clothing ad, headlining this year’s Super Bowl or posting on her Facebook and Twitter pages, the entertainment icon owns her brand across all media.
Believe it or not, contractors can take a lesson from Beyoncé about controlling their brand and the conversation.
“One of the things about Beyoncé’s saturation of every moment of our lives is that she is largely in control of it,” NPR’s Ann Powers stated in a recent piece showcasing Beyoncé’s media campaigns. “[This] makes her very different than many tabloid stars. The nature of tabloid media is that it’s not in the star’s control. We think of Britney Spears, that moment years ago when she shaved her head. Beyoncé has almost completely taken command of her representation in these media, which is extremely unusual.”
Brand research will help you get a handle on your reputation with empirical information about how you are perceived in the marketplace by customers and prospects, and will go a long way toward informing the creation of a positive identity. Research results can be used as a launching pad for crafting messaging that clearly reflects your brand and helps you position against the competition. With a well-thought-out, proactive and sustained plan for leveraging the positives of your reputation in social media and content marketing campaigns, you, too, can take control of the conversation and steer the perceptions in your organization’s favor.
We showcased NASA’s hugely successful use of social media as an example of a government agency that is controlling its brand. From their Gangham Style parody to the Mars Curiosity checking in from the Gale’s Crater on Mars, they have caught people’s attention and largely controlled the conversation about their agency. Contractors can leverage similar success stories with content and social media conversations that focus on innovation, new developments and serving the customer.
In Beyoncé’s case, even though she released, “Staring at the Sun,” as an advertisement, it is perceived as a music video and not an H&M sales pitch. While other celebrities get caught in the act of ducking the paparazzi, Beyoncé does it the other way around by creating the message and keeping a positive light shining on her carefully crafted persona. In today’s shifting media landscape, government contractors have a better opportunity than ever to take full control of their reputations and disseminate genuine, yet also carefully crafted, personae directly to the marketplace.
In this time of budgetary restraint, government contractors must differentiate their identities more so than ever before. With affordable access to technology, contractors have the opportunity to create thought provoking, educational and even entertaining multi-media content and serve it to government decision-makers via richer online, social and mobile experiences than ever before.
Beyoncé and NASA have taken control of the perception of their identities by dictating the message – so too can government contractors.