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Some Planning + Some Spontaneity = Authenticity
By: Janet Kalandranis
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In a traditional branding sense there has always been a lot of talk around planning and strategies and visions. These are the tools that all brands use to create a brand, grow a brand, and make it succeed. Without some planning, brands can’t expect to have a business with a really strong sense of who it is, what it does, and where it plans to go. Planning = good business. But then there’s the other side: spontaneity. This is not the “crazy” behavior that many associate with the word, but instead real, relevant tactics that add to a planned strategy. Success doesn’t come from all planning or all spontaneity, but instead is created with the marriage of the two. And that, friends, is how brands achieve authenticity.

Let’s talk real-world examples here. Social media is a great way to demonstrate the combination of planning and spontaneity, both for small and large brands. Those brands that plan out a social media strategy are really much more successful than those brands that create an account and never use it. Everyone has seen those brands — the ones that post for a couple weeks, a couple months, and then it’s so shockingly silent that many times customers wonder if they are on the correct Facebook page. Brands that plan out weekly posts and specific topics are forced to make sure there is a consistent conversation between the customers and the company.

But then there’s that other part of social media. The part that is real, authentic, and completely unplanned. The spontaneous part. When brands are able to integrate posts and content that are connected to the moment, to a person in the organization, and really are the “right-now” thoughts of the brand. This keeps customers interested and doesn’t feel like they are only receiving those promotional or brand messages that so often fill up their social media accounts.

The key to authenticity, though, is balance. Because if a brand solely uses planned posts, customers will catch on in no time at all. No customer wants to feel like they are in a state of constant promotion with a brand. But then on the other side, customers want to know more about the brand and understand what it offers — so if there are only spontaneous posts, customers might feel like they don’t truly understand what the brand has to offer. Best bet? Do the math and deliver some planning + some spontaneity = authenticity.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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