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:

14Nov 2017

By Kelly Hall Speaking on the IABC Minnesota’s Meet the Pros event panel was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my career path and offer advice to college students interested in careers in communications. Not too long ago, I was in their same shoes and experienced the same emotions that they are currently experiencing. With […]

27Oct 2017

by Paul Omodt Ever give a presentation to a room full of strangers and wonder what they were thinking? Did they understand my points? Was my presentation style working for them? Was I connecting with them? If you could read the mind of your audience and see the giant thought bubble above their heads, what […]

20Sep 2017

Advice from a former reporter

September 20, 2017

Public relations professionals and reporters can be as compatible as oil and water. Mike Walsh, a board member with IABC Minnesota, tackles that challenging topic with his colleague, Sam Black, who worked as a journalist before moving to his current corporate role. Below is the original blog post Michael shared on Linked In. Tips from […]

22Aug 2017

By Aaron Zaslofsky Communications is a poorly understood and underappreciated discipline. If you’re nodding your head, read on. If not, consider yourself fortunate to work in an organization that places Strategic Communications where it should be – at the table for business strategy discussions and absolutely critical to earning the trust and confidence of employees, […]

26Jul 2017

It’s 6 a.m. My plugged-in cell phone vibrates on my bed stand while emitting an annoying chirping sound. “Get out of bed,” it says to me. I know it’s going to be a busy day the second I open my eyes. Two kids and a dog wake up shortly after my wife and I do. […]

24Jul 2017

A guest post from Dr. Mike Porter, APR, sponsored by the University of St. Thomas. Having been on both sides of the graduate school equation, including nearly 10 years on the teaching side, I’ve noticed a number of changes that affect people considering graduate degrees as a means to enhance their career prospects. Today, many […]

12Jul 2017

By Sarah Matsumoto While preparing to take on the role of IABC Minnesota president this year, I met with a number of members, past presidents, prospective volunteers and board members, and it’s clear to me that the number one reason why people join and get involved with IABC is the people. I believe our organization […]

26Jun 2017

By Susan Otten My year of serving as president of IABC Minnesota is coming to a close. While serving the communicators of our great state, I developed amazing friendships with fellow board members and added connections, from a variety of industries, to my network. This year, IABC Minnesota worked with a myriad of volunteers to […]

14Jun 2017

The currency of trust

June 14, 2017

By Tammy Nienaber No subject is more topical these days than trust. It is the currency of the global economy and the basis of international relationships. Trust is also a key economic driver—almost every successful business relies on a strong bond of trust with employees as well as customers. As communication professionals, we know our […]

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 […]