Future-Proof Your Brand

Virtual Lunch - Future-Proof Your Brand

If you’re trying to figure out how to market to your audience appropriately during these confusing times, you’re not alone.

Today’s guest, Juntae DeLane provides perspective in this rebroadcast of our weekly Virtual Lunch. You’ll discover how to:

  • Tap into brand storytelling
  • Stand out from the competition (without being negative)
  • Leverage existing assets

Here are the related links:

About Juntae DeLane:

Juntae DeLane
Juntae DeLane

Juntae is the founder of the Digital Branding Institute, a global hub for digital branding resources, education, and training. He is the Sr. Digital Brand Manager for the University of Southern California, where leads a team responsible for developing, managing, and measuring digital marketing initiatives. He has worked with many brands across various industries such as Coca-Cola, Sony, Verizon, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures and many others. He’s also the principal consultant and strategist for DIGITAL DELANE, a digital branding consultancy that helps organizations build a strong digital brand.

[00:00:00.390] - Marlys Arnold

You're listening to the Trade Show Insights podcast, Season 15, Episode 11.

[00:00:20.200] - Marlys Arnold

I'm your host and exhibit marketing strategist, Marlys Arnold, bringing new tools to improve your exhibit results on today's episode, a rebroadcast of our weekly virtual lunch in the Exhibit Marketers Cafe, we're joined by Juntae DeLane to talk about future proofing your brand.

[00:01:02.670] - Marlys Arnold

I am going to now bring on our special guest, Juntae DeLane, and he is a digital marketing strategist. He is the founder of Digital Brand Institute and he is the former senior brand manager for the University of Southern California.

[00:01:20.400] - Marlys Arnold

He also has worked with many brands, including Coca-Cola, Sony, Paramount Pictures, Verizon. And I could go on and on. And then one other thing he may not realize I know about him is he recently completed his pilot's license. So congratulations on that.

[00:01:36.990] - Juntae DeLane

Thank you, Marlys. Thank you.

[00:01:39.300] - Marlys Arnold

So it's great to have you here today. So here we're going to talk about future proofing your brand. So tell us a little bit about what exactly do you mean by future proofing your brand?

[00:01:51.330] - Juntae DeLane

Yeah, well, essentially, we all know what the world is going through, right? The greatest pandemic in our lifetime. And it's, of course, affecting many, many, many businesses. It doesn't matter what industry you're in, you are obviously affected. And so when I talk about future proofing your digital brand, it's something that I do with plenty of my clients at Digital DeLane, which is a full service agency, and we essentially focus on building a brand that would outlast the pandemic, you know, providing my clients the tips, tricks and insights on helping them to to focus their bit on adapting their business model, making any pivot's, things like that.

[00:02:32.910] - Juntae DeLane

So future proofing your brand is all about making sure that you're leveraging your internal assets. Right. Obviously, you don't have room to scale at this point. It's all about collaborating with other potential partners. And it also it's all about making sure that you do what you can to stay top of mind during this time, because even if your target audience isn't necessarily in the buying market now, you ultimately want to stay top of mind with them so that once this thing blows over, you would be top of mind and you can go ahead and reach out and engage with them during that time. So those are all a couple key points when focusing on how to future proof your brand.

[00:03:17.490] - Marlys Arnold

Well, and we're going to break down several of those points that you just addressed. And go ahead to anybody. If you want to put a comment and a question in the comments, go ahead and do that and we'll ask those as we go along as well. But so as B2B marketers, which is what most of our crowd here is, how do you do that whole, you know, sensitivity and and personal touch? How do you how can you do that in a in an appropriate way in a situation like this?

[00:03:47.760] - Juntae DeLane

Yeah, well, I think first and foremost, the old adage is people like to do business with people and it's similar in the B2B industry as well. Right. And so I think businesses want to do business, business with other businesses that are aligned with some of their ideologies, with some of their mission values and so on. And so if you're able to express the the effort to understand what's going on in society, that could be affecting the lives of, you know, leadership in these organizations or even trickling down to their specific audience base, I think it's going to build a better relationship in this environment. And so some tricks and tips that I would would focus on as a B2B company is focusing on, again, establishing the the core values of your organization and also providing resources for other organizations, for other target organizations that that you have in mind, because ultimately during this time as a brand, as a business, you're looking for the best ways to position yourself in this current market.

[00:05:06.960] - Juntae DeLane

So by simply being a an example or a resource, I think is one way that you're able to do it. And this could be simply reaching out from a business perspective to see, you know, how they're faring in this industry, in the market and also some tools that have helped you as a business. You can pretty much report that information and give them that resource. And so those are one ways that you can still begin to build those relationships during this time.

[00:05:38.700] - Marlys Arnold

Well, so a lot of that it comes down to having personal one on one conversations with your clients at this point in time, too, and and I like how you said, you know, reaching out person to person, not thinking of it as business to business so much. And and I know that's what I've tried to pick up the phone and call some of my clients during this time as well. And just, hey how you doing ... And you know, and especially if I know they have kids or, you know, how are you dealing with the kids being home and all that kind of thing. So you're right. It really if you can reach them on that personal level, it really does take it to take the relationship to a whole different level.

[00:06:13.260] - Juntae DeLane

For sure. I mean, I have clients that are executives and they're also moonlighting as teachers. Right, because their children aren't in school. And so those are some challenges that I think could just be they could be brought up. Right. I mean, it's it's it's sort of going against, you know, the formal way of communicating. But ultimately, you know, if if you know your target audience or your client has children, that's probably something that they're dealing with. And it's difficult when understanding or when when considering what they're going through at the time period and then focusing on ways that you can essentially help at least to to build a bridge or to break that ice, because I think it's going to provide a better relationship foundation. So I would highly recommend that.

[00:07:02.730] - Marlys Arnold

Well, let's talk a little bit about I know you're big on brand storytelling. Tell us a little bit about how how to use that tool at this point in time to to really relate as well.

[00:07:15.060] - Juntae DeLane

Yeah, well, again, it goes back to, again, people knowing who you are, your true, your mission, your values and so on, and then telling your brand story as to why you're even in business and how your business is impacting the lives of your target audience. And if you haven't figured that out, then you certainly are going to need to start to focus, especially during this time, on establishing your brand story. And essentially, it's it's your why why are you in business? Why is is why did you hire this particular employee? Why have you developed this initiative? Why have you established this strategic partnership? Why are you even at this event. Right. So on and so forth. So it's important to to map out your brand, map out why? So that you can convey that through your brand story.

[00:08:10.050] - Marlys Arnold

Well, so again, it goes back to humanizing and making it personable. So so how do we deal with talking about how we stand out from the competition without going negative, you know, like the politicians always do?

[00:08:26.700] - Juntae DeLane

That's a whole nother story. So what I can say about that is, you know, if you are a B2B business and you're looking at trying to to to stay top of mind, sort of, you know, focus on reaching out to your target audience and so on, it's important to include your personality. Because ultimately, your personality is is going to give you the reach that you need, and here's what I mean by that. In particularly on social media, we know that the algorithms reward personality. So if you have direct promotional or salesy communication on social media, you'll notice that your organic reach won't be as great. But,

[00:09:17.500] - Juntae DeLane

You are focused on more personality then you're going to have more organic reach and then you're going to have people reacting to that that post with a bunch of personality. Right. And what happens there is you start to get more organic reach because more people start to communicate. And once people start to communicate and engage, their network are informed, so on and so forth. So you actually have a significant benefit for being more personal. If you are a very buttoned up B2B brand, if you sort of, you know, relax on your brand voice a bit, start more conversations around different topics that have to do with your brand, you'll start to notice your organic reach. So providing that personality in terms of your brand voice to your target audience is going to be beneficial because you're going to better reach your target audience.

[00:10:10.970] - Marlys Arnold

So do you have some I know I'm kind of throwing this at you here, but do you have some examples of of some especially B2B, but like any any companies that you can give just as examples of what's a good, you know, like you said, showing your personality as a brand?

[00:10:25.970] - Juntae DeLane

Yeah, you know, I think a good case study would be the Wendy's roast, if you're not familiar with that. Obviously, Wendy's was, you know, sort of blasé blah brand. It's very vanilla in a sense.

[00:10:40.590] - Marlys Arnold


[00:10:41.000] - Juntae DeLane

And and they started to to add more personality to their Twitter feed, and they started basically roasting everyone from their competitors to people who engage with their timeline, so on and so forth. And they actually had so much ... So much engagements that it brought in more traffic into the stores.

[00:11:02.600] - Juntae DeLane

People who didn't engage with Wendy's earlier on did so just for the entertainment value. And that kept Wendy's top of mind, which brought more people into the stores. And so they switched it up a little bit during the pandemic by going from from roasting to toasting, which basically means that they they flipped it and they said, OK, instead of roasting people, we're going to talk about the good things that people are doing in the community, highlighting those those different things and then rewarding them with free nuggets and stuff like that. Right. So I think that's a great example of of how you should leverage a brand voice. And if you're brand voice didn't have any personality before, you can take some cues as as long as it's aligned with with your brand from Wendy's and the roast and apply it to yours. And I think the ultimate lesson here was Wendy's went from servitude to attitude. Right. So normally when you think about social media, you'd automatically assume from a B2B perspective overall, you'd automatically assume it's all about thought leadership or customer service. Right.

[00:12:16.280] - Juntae DeLane

So if you go from focusing on customer service only to having a little bit of attitude, having some personality, again, you're going to notice more organic reach. And so that's important because nowadays we know that when on social profiles and accounts, people want to be entertained, we aren't necessarily engaging with a brand simply to get their brand information right. They want to be entertained. So it's important that you go from that servitude to attitude and in not only use your social channels as a way of communicating customer service transactions, but focus on providing some type of value in terms of attitude, personality and entertainment.

[00:13:02.910] - Marlys Arnold

Well, and I love how you're talking about how Wendy's switched to doing the toasting and and praising people for what they were doing. I'm sure that got lots of attention because people are you know, everybody loves that kind of thing. In the end, it probably got a lot more shares and likes as well. So,

[00:13:17.930] - Juntae DeLane

yeah, exactly.

[00:13:19.010] - Marlys Arnold

So let's talk a little bit. You mentioned earlier about leveraging your existing assets. So talk a little bit more about because I think probably a lot of people, you know, when you start, you may have seen I put Matt's comment up about how he is going to start roasting people. So we should all look out. Right. But you know what? If you're if you're looking at this and you're thinking, oh, my goodness, now all of a sudden I got to create all this new stuff and figure out what my personality is, how can you take some existing assets and and use those to your advantage?

[00:13:48.830] - Juntae DeLane

Yes. So if you're struggling, if you're either stuck on that hampster wheel of creating content for content sake or you just don't have time to create content. My mantra is, is work smarter, right? And one of the ways that you're able to work smarter is by repurposing some of your existing content. So if you start off with a blog post or video, let's say, for example, you take this live stream and we transcribe that live stream, we make that transcription into a blog post. We repurpose some of the quotables, some of the, you know, Jim dropping mic dropping moments and create Instagram quote images, statistics, things like that from this main piece of content, which is, of course, the live stream. So that's one way that you can focus on repurposing your content. The other way is to take a look at what content has worked for you in the past, meaning that what content has brought in the most leads, has the most views and so on.

[00:14:58.810] - Juntae DeLane

And when you think about and when you analyze that, you also want to focus on the content that's actually converting. Right. So you may not necessarily need to look specifically at the vanity metrics of this blog post or this video had the most views, but it's more about which video, which blog post actually converted. Because what you can do here is once you understand what video is converted, you can then beef up that content, right, to draw more eyeballs and get more views on that content. So it all starts off with that pre-existing asset of the blog post, the video of the live stream and so on. And then, of course, most of us are too busy to continuously create content. Right.

[00:15:40.200] - Marlys Arnold


[00:15:40.960] - Juntae DeLane

My focus here is I just simply batch content. Because consider for all those who bake, right, you know, that you would never, ever bake one cookie at a time, right.

[00:15:54.710] - Juntae DeLane

Put all these on a baking pan and then bake them all at once. You do the same thing for your content, right. And that's naturally going to help. So if you're planning to do videos, you may want to batch some of your video creation. You may want to batch some of your blog post articles that you're writing during a time when you have complete focus and ability to create content. So those are my my few recommendations on how you can use your your internal assets to create content and to stay top of mind during this time.

[00:16:34.000] - Marlys Arnold

Well, and you talk about repurposing. It took me several months of doing virtual lunch before I finally woke up to. Oh, yeah, I should repurpose these on my podcast as well. So it is true, it's like you create it once and use it multiple places, multiple times. So.

[00:16:46.810] - Juntae DeLane


[00:16:47.290] - Marlys Arnold

Well, you had also mentioned collaboration and I think especially for the trade show and events industry right now, I think we're really looking to how can we all team up and support each other. So what are some of your suggestions as far as collaborating to create content and to to get that message out there?

[00:17:06.610] - Juntae DeLane

Yeah, that's that's a great question. And I think if you are in the trade ind trade show industry, you've leverage trade shows in the past. Obviously, that's not the case anymore. Right. So most of those events are either canceled or they're gone virtual. So when you think about that from a virtual standpoint, you're obviously able to to do leverage more in the digital space and you may have in the physical space. So you would make sure that you have all of your lead generation funnels and so on and so forth together. And then you would also want to make sure that you are going above and beyond in terms of the sponsorship that you're that you are booking.

[00:17:53.470] - Juntae DeLane

Right. And so I my rule of thumb is it should be three times whatever the investment is for the sponsorship. The activations outside of that should be three fold. Right. And so that could be, you know, creating Facebook ads as a part of your collaboration with that particular event. It could be activating some ambassadors, posting on social media, creating content around the event, so on and so forth. That would happen in the digital space. And then when it comes to just the general collaboration overall, obviously, you know, some of our marketing budget is is tight, right? We're tightening the belt.

[00:18:37.940] - Marlys Arnold


[00:18:38.410] - Juntae DeLane

One of the ways that you're able to collaborate in during this time is by joining in with a partner that either provides an ancillary service or as some type of strategic partner that you've worked with in the past and then create co-branded campaigns. So these can be essentially Facebook ads that are co-branded. Right. And it's making sure that the final creative nicely showcases the way both brands are able to work together to help solve some type of challenge. Again, that's very important, right? This is not just a this is a Facebook ad with two partners, but this is a Facebook ad, right. That has a collaboration that can help meet your target audience's challenge. Right. So that's very important. And of course, you're basically splitting the ad spend down in half and you're able to collect some of the data from your strategic partner and vice versa. Right. So those are some way to able to to focus on collaborations during this time.

[00:19:44.830] - Juntae DeLane

But most importantly, it's you want to make sure that you're working with the right partner in the digital space. So you may have a partner that has a great brick and mortar brand. You may be more advanced in digital. So you want to basically align yourself with someone that's that's equal on that field of of you guys both having an advanced digital brand. That way, your co-brand campaign would be much, much more fruitful. So just consider those couple of facts when looking at collaborating during this time.

[00:20:19.570] - Marlys Arnold

Well, and that makes sense, too, because otherwise, if you're not equally matched, then, you know, if one of them is much more much more advanced, advanced in the digital arena then they would be carrying most of the weight. So it makes sense that you find a company that's a good match that way.

[00:20:38.260] - Marlys Arnold

So and note to everybody, if you're here at virtual lunch, this may be a good place to find some of those matches for your collaboration project, so, well, if you have any last minute questions, go ahead and put those in the comments and we will ask Juntae. But, you know, any final thoughts from you, something maybe that we forgot to address during this interview?

[00:21:00.990] - Juntae DeLane

No, I think ultimately this was was was great. You know, hopefully I provided you guys with a ton of value, feel free to reach out to me and my agency, DigitalDeLane.com, if you have any questions or if you're looking for ways in which that you can navigate through this time, we've helped plenty of partners, even in the B2B space, people who have or brands that have a great brick and mortar but are looking to transition or create a go to market strategy, things like that. I certainly can be of assistance.

[00:21:37.290] - Marlys Arnold

Sounds great, and we'll make sure we get that, get your Web address in the show notes and the comments and everything as well. So I don't see any last minute comments. So thank you so much Juntae for taking time out to be here for virtual lunch today. And thanks to everybody who joined us. We will be back again next Tuesday. We're going to take off the day after Labor Day, but we we will be here next Tuesday. So we will see you then. And everybody in the meantime, have a great week. Thanks.

[00:22:07.800] - Juntae DeLane

Bye everybody.

[00:22:14.320] - Marlys Arnold

You can find all the links mentioned during this interview in this episode's show notes at TradeShowInsights.com. And if you'd like to join us for an upcoming weekly virtual lunch, you'll find information on that at ExhibitMarketersCafe.com/lunch.

[00:22:42.120] - Marlys Arnold

If you enjoyed today's episode and would like more, you can subscribe to the podcast and automatically receive future episodes on your chosen device, simply search for Trade Show Insights in Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or virtually anywhere else that podcasts are found and then click the subscribe button.

[00:23:03.290] - Marlys Arnold

Trade Show Insights is protected by the Creative Commons copyright license, you may feel free to share this recording with colleagues or embedded on your own blog as long as it's shared in its entirety and is not used for commercial purposes. To learn more, please see the link in the sidebar the show notes at TradeShowInsights.com. Well, that's it for this episode of Trade Show Insights. Be sure to check out our show notes and archives at TradeShowInsights.com. You can also connect with me using the social media links or contact page on the site. I'm Marlys Arnold. Thanks for listening. And be sure to join us next time for more tools to improve your exhibit results.


The NEW version of Build a Better Trade Show Image has arrived!Click here to learn more