Posted By Sarah Davy, Friday, April 15, 2016

Earlier this year, IABC Minnesota was lucky enough to partner with Maccabee PR to host the “Can Your Brand Change the World?” event featuring former General Mills Chief Marketing Officer Mark Addicks. Attendees were able to hear insights from the former CMO about what has made General Mills a leader in forward-thinking branding. Here are a couple important lessons from Mark Addicks:

1. It’s vital that brands live the values they are representing in their marketing.

When companies are true to their brand, they can galvanize employees and consumers. If a brand says that they’re supportive of a cause, but their actions don’t match up, employees and consumers will call them out. Consumers crave authenticity – give that to them.

2. Marketers have to do things long-term to make sure their brand stays meaningful and relevant.

Short term, every brand has to market their product day-to-day to get sales, but companies also have to do things long-term to make sure their brand stays meaningful and relevant. Price discounting isn’t a sustainable strategy. You have to build brand relevancy to get into the consumer’s consideration set.

Addicks argued that marketers should build brand relevancy for a coming generation. Under Armour gained a 28 percent sales lift with women from “I Will What I Want” featuring dancer Misty Copeland. Sales going up and more brand relevancy made this campaign a win-win.

3. PR and social media can help explain the context for why people should care about your brand.

Consumers are much more interested in news than in paid advertising. Addicks says that a marketer’s goal should be to “tell your brand story in a way that surprises, delights, intrigues or provokes me, in a creative format that I’ve never seen before.”

Another perk of PR: It can be just as successful as paid advertising for a fraction of the cost.

4. Everything old is new again in marketing.

Addicks used the example of spaghetti dinners to emphasize this point. Back in the 1960s, communities gathered together for spaghetti dinners; then that tradition fell out of favor.

Today marketing is all about local. So that old spaghetti dinner event could probably work again. He pointed that you’d have to make some tweaks like adding social media and reinterpret it based on what your target audience wants to rally around – maybe make it gluten free!

5. Redefine your brand by being interesting.

Honey Maid is a 90-year-old graham cracker company. A lot of people may argue that graham crackers are not exciting. Honey Maid’s “This is Wholesome” campaign redefined the world ‘wholesome’ in their ad campaign, which brought them back into the cultural conversation.

Interested in learning more? Check out these two posts on Maccabee PR’s blog:

24May 2017

Public relations (PR) is considered a fast-paced and dynamic industry, but do gender differences in the communication styles of men and women hinder the practice of PR? If communication styles were more in sync with one another, could the work of PR practitioners improve? How do these differences influence workplace communication and the development of […]

22May 2017

A guest post by Jenna Soule, Corporate Communications Manager at RBA On May 2, internal and business communicators, marketers and public relations professionals gathered for an IABC Minnesota Lunch & Learn on modernizing internal communications at the Microsoft Technology Center in Edina. The interactive conversation, which included panelists from Minnesota companies, focused on strategies to […]

29Mar 2017

A sponsored post by Jenna Soule, Corporate Communications Manager at RBA As a proud Gen Xer, I remember clearly the days before the Internet. During my first “real job” in communications after college, I can recall spending hours typing and distributing interoffice memos to schedule meetings or to share important news with the employees. WiFi wasn’t […]

07Mar 2017

By Trace Ulland “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.” I heard these words at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. last month. Spoken in 1963 by Edward R. Murrow, they seem especially relevant in our current environment where the term “fake […]

01Mar 2017

By Diana Dukich That’s right. Minnesota bold. I’ve taken inspiration from the 2018 Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s slogan, “the Bold North.” Whether you grew up in Minnesota or have come to call Minnesota your home, we are a bold bunch who embrace our winters (even this mild winter) and are driven to innovate and […]

28Feb 2017

Tooting our own horn!

February 28, 2017

By Ellen Vander Linden We aren’t shy about tooting our own horn! The IABC Minnesota chapter received two Chapter Management Awards (CMAs) at last week’s 2017 Leadership Institute in Dallas, Texas. The awards were for Event Management and Professional Development. One more exceptional announcement was the designation of Cindy Schmieg, ABC, as an IABC Fellow. […]

14Feb 2017

Building Corporate Culture

February 14, 2017

Some companies are known for being great places to work. Others … just aren’t. So what is it that those great companies have that make potential employees seek them out and current employees happy to go to work each day? The answer: strong corporate culture. The experts at our February panelist discussion demystified the ways […]

27Jan 2017

By Trace Ulland Maybe it’s the winter grayness. Maybe it’s the annual January desire for improvement. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been staring at a screen trying to create my 2017 plan, and all I have are the words “2017” and “plan” so far. I need a jolt of inspiration. I need some new […]

13Jan 2017

“Who do you work for?” That’s often the first question asked when meeting someone new in Washington, D.C. It’s something I didn’t like about D.C. because it was value-based pricing of a professional relationship. A sizing up. The more important the title in the answer to the query, the higher the estimated value. It’s also […]

19Dec 2016

By Ellen Vander Linden Many of us will give and receive gifts this holiday season. Beyond material possessions, one of the greatest gifts we can give to others is our time. In March, I chose to volunteer one cold, grey Wednesday afternoon for the IABC Gift of Communication event. The event pairs professional communicators with […]

12Dec 2016

By Beth Hilden “Change management” is certainly a common term across workplaces everywhere. But what does it really mean? And why should we, as communication professionals, really care? Think of it this way… If change management is the tool for helping people transition from a current to a future state, then effective communication is THE […]

21Nov 2016

By Trace Ulland Back for a second year, the day-long Convergence Summit is set for March 24, 2017. Planning is underway, and the committee is looking for presenters to help fill out the day. A joint effort between the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication and IABC Minnesota, the summit brings together […]