cutting edgeEvery professional communicator, whether on the agency or client side, is looking for that extra edge – the cutting edge – that enables their client to gain market share.

But, what does that mean? 

Without question, it can mean developing a creative idea, a breakthrough moment (e.g., product innovation, service technique, creative expression, etc.) that generates excitement, creates buzz, draws attention and, most important, draws customers.

This may happen once or twice in the lifetime of a consumer brand or a company providing much-needed services to individuals or other businesses.

More likely, businesses find and maintain their “edge” by marrying creativity with clarity of expression, consistency of application and disciplined implementation over time. 

tortoise and hareFor every “one hit wonder” there are hundreds of “slow and steady win the race” examples in business.

From a communications perspective, this means having an integrated marketing communications approach. 

This, in turn, means that your company is fully committed to implementing business processes to ensure that all contacts with your brand, whether a customer or prospect for your product, service or organization, are meaningiful and consistent.

Easier said than done.  From the company’s perspective, it requires all employees to be on the same page in terms of the company’s values – who it is, what it does for whom and why.

From a communicators perspective, it means learning and teaching ways to ensure that the client’s culture – it’s values – translates into every interaction with a customer or prospect.  And this means in all offline (traditional) and online (new media) communications activities. 

From media releases to social media, from direct contact to direct mail, from collateral materials to community presentations, from graphics to packaging, the key to an integrated approach is to deliver creative, clear and concise messages over time that reflect the true value the company brings to its customers.

Post by Nick Vehr – 8.31.09

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