When you have developed your brand personality, defined the Target Market and created the visual identity of your brand, you can move onto the importance of good communication to engage everyone involved with you organisation.
You need to ‘introduce’ your organisation
What’s the first thing you do when you meet someone? Generally, unless they are mugging you, you introduce yourself. You give them a short but informative “overview” of who you are and what you do. You start a conversation, and if you have things in common with the other person, you engage with them. If the fit is right, this sometimes is the start of an enjoyable and mutually beneficial relationship.
Communicating your brand is exactly the same. Depending on the circumstances, your brand will “introduce itself,” telling a story or divulging some information to help people “get to know” the brand. The level of interest someone has in your brand depends on a number of factors over which you have a great deal of control.
Just like a typical human interaction, the brand will become better known the more times a “meeting” takes place, and eventually your brand and the prospect may become “friends.” The prospect may decide to engage in an exchange of value, commonly known as a sale. As with human interactions, this relationship will flourish more quickly if the prospect has something in common with the brand—that is if they are in the target market for the brand—and the brand communicates simply and effectively.
Why is communication important?
Before you start communicating with your target market, or before you change what you are currently talking to them about, I want you to take a few moments to think about why you are communicating. What is the purpose of spending time, effort, and at least some money on “sending your message”?
There’s no point in being the most eligible bachelor in town if the girls don’t know much about you, or worse, don’t even know you exist! So the first part of communication is about becoming known—about people seeing what your brand and its products or services are and what they’re all about.
But far more than that, and most importantly, you need to use communication to position yourself as the single best solution for your target market. Ideally, you want to be seen as the only solution for your target market. If you communicate well, you can do this even if you have competition everywhere and you currently don’t see yourself as being that different from everyone else. You may not be the only organisation providing a particular sport, but you can be the only one to do it in your unique way.
Good communication will make your sporting organisation the expert in your sport, your geographic area, or your chosen niche. Invariably, you will be the self-appointed expert—explaining to people what they need and then showing how you deliver this to them.
Communication needs to take a number of different forms
People associated with sports organisations often ask me how many different ways they should be engaging with members and participants.
Let me answer this question using a sports analogy. Imagine two tennis players in a game against each other.
One has an awesome forehand stroke, but a poor backhand, limited ground strokes, a bad serve, and he can’t volley the ball. The other player’s forehand shot is not as good as his opponent’s, but his game is very even and above average in most areas.
The player with a better range of skills is going to win—not every time, but most times. He is able to handle more situations and be in a position to hit a strong shot wherever he is on the court. The first player (with the awesome forehand) will win every time the ball is positioned perfectly for a forehand—but how often is that? Further, the all-around player will soon “work out” his opponent and start hitting the ball everywhere but to his forehand!
Communication is the same. It’s wonderful to have a great Facebook page, but not everyone in your target market necessarily goes onto Facebook! You might have a really good brochure, but that’s not much good unless you can actually get it into someone’s hands. So if you have one really good thing and nothing else, you’re going to miss out on connecting with a lot of people! You need to communicate in many ways and not rely on one method alone.
People communicate and learn in different ways. Some like to read things, some like to hear things, some like to watch. Some engage with Twitter and Facebook, while others are hardly ever online. Your communication needs to cater to every one of these situations.