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5 Things Hindering Your Brand, As Told By “Stranger Things”


Are you watching Stranger Things on Netflix? Well, you should be. Part 80’s throwback, part beautiful branding, and 100% Winona forever, we devoured all eight episodes faster than Barb disappeared off that diving board.Stranger Things for BrandfolderAnd because we’re always searching for new ways to make marketing as exciting as summer’s most buzzworthy shows, here are five things hindering your brand from Demogorgon-levels of greatness, as told by Stranger Things. (Spoilers ahead: Because seriously, how have you not binge-watched the entire show yet?).

1. The Problem: You’re Not Communicating Across Channels

During the first half of the season, our main characters are not communicating. Nancy and Jonathan head into the woods armed with nothing more than a baseball bat (and Jonathan’s shag haircut) to confront a person-snatching monster. The boys gather 47 compasses to find a mysterious magnetic hub. And Joyce is smashing up walls and burning through landlines like it’s her job. Things are strange, and things are not going well.

Similarly, if your design team is not communicating with your marketing team, and neither team is communicating with your sales team, things are likely not going well for your brand.

The Solution: Our small-town heroes eventually join forces, and successfully lure the monster to Hawkins High School for a final (and fatal) showdown. What does this mean for you? Talk to different departments! Set up weekly Slack check-ins, organize monthly editorial meetings, or simply stop by someone’s desk to solicit feedback on an upcoming campaign. With the proper collaboration, you’ll enjoy more creative, cohesive, and successful marketing campaigns.

2. The Problem: You Rebranded, But No One Knows

While this writer preferred Eleven’s shaved head and sweats to her pink dress and blonde wig, it’s clear she was digging her new look. And she didn’t hide all that swagger in Mike’s basement. She shared her fresh image with the right people in Hawkins.

During a rebrand, you invest a lot of time and resources into creating new or refreshed brand assets. But then what? Google is probably still serving up your old logo to interested parties, and members of your own company may not notice a subtle shift in color palette or font.

The Solution: Make sure that the right people have easy access to your new assets. Using a Digital Asset Management platform like Brandfolder can help you upload, organize, and share new assets with a single click. Plus, you can control who sees those assets. So it’s possible to share your rebrand with Dustin, Lucas, and Mike, but keep it hidden from Dr. Brenner.

3. The Problem: You’re In “The Upside Down”

The Upside Down is both an alternate reality and the monster’s lair. It’s nearly impossible to escape from. And unless Winona Ryder starts communing with you through her bedside lamp, no one is going to hear your screams for help.

Brandfolder - Stranger Things

You may feel like you’re in The Upside Down during some of your email marketing or social media campaigns. Once you lose engagement with your audience, it can be nearly impossible to get their attention again. So how do you keep your brand out of the dreaded underworld of lapsed consumers?

The Solution: Communicate with your audience! Whether B2B or B2C, talk to your customers when and where they want to hear from you. If they ask you a question on Facebook, answer them quickly and concisely. If they email your customer service channel with a simple request, surprise and delight them with a discount code or personalized note in your response.

Use platforms like Survey Monkey to stay dialed in to what your customers want, and don’t forget to put that information to use. All of this interaction will keep your consumer from hitting that “unsubscribe” or “unfollow” button — The Upside Down of the marketing world.

4. The Problem: You Don’t Have the Right Tools

Let’s agree that at no time throughout this series did anyone have the right tools to take down the monster. From baseball bats to slingshots, our would-be heroes tried and failed repeatedly to slay their tormenter. Ultimately, Elle was the only person who had the right tools (her still-unexplained mind powers) to banish the beast once and for all.

The Solution: The right Digital Asset Management platform, like Elle, will save your brand every time. It also helps you get the most mileage from your brand assets, which is why — if you ask us — the only thing scarier than the “Stranger Things” monster is a brand without the right DAM.

A competitive DAM should convert your files without using third-party tools, allow anyone to resize images, help you to create custom metadata, and pull analytics on how people are using your assets and where. Plus, it should be so easy to use, even neigh-sayer Lucas can’t find a reason not to adapt.

5. The Problem: You Made Your Ask Too Soon

When Joyce realized she could communicate with her missing son through twinkle lights in her living room, she probably should have kept it to herself until she had assembled a strong PR strategy. Instead, she asked her son, her ex-husband, and the sheriff for help right away. You can imagine how that went for Joyce. Don’t be Joyce.

The Solution: Instead of hitting your audience with an ask right away, start by building value with them. From free content to helpful e-newsletters, once you’ve built a level of familiarity and trust with your consumer, you can present your offer and enjoy a more positive (and lucrative) response.

When Sheriff Hopper and Jonathan finally saw the monster for themselves, they were far more willing to help Joyce find her lost son, but they weren’t ready to take the plunge immediately. So whether you’re selling $10,000-worth of software or a $25 t-shirt, build value with your customer first, then present your ask.

Want to learn more about Brandfolder? If we’ve built enough value with you, we’d love to offer you a complimentary demonstration. You can wait for us to communicate through your office lights, or just click the banner below.

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Meg is a Content Strategist at Brandfolder, a powerfully simple platform for storing, sharing, and showcasing your brand assets. Her background is in copywriting and she's proud to be part of the growing Denver startup community. When she's not writing or researching cool brands, she can be found hiking with her two pups and fanning the sometimes-literal flames of her fledgling cooking skills.

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