Providing A Voice
Positioning a pioneering digital health provider as a leader in its field.
As a progressive and passionate Canadian health company, The Uncomplicated Family (TUF) increases capacity with telecommunication and reshapes the impact of disability through technology for children, families and communities.
Focus was on building demand and public awareness of Teleroo™—its exclusive suite of proprietary, patent-pending technology and therapy tools.
The first crucial step was finding out where the brand stood, or more importantly—didn’t stand. It started with asking the right questions that were functional and emotional, and separated internal desire and external reality.
Bit by bit, stage by stage, we began the early steps of the story branding process. We threw down as wide a scope as possible and followed best practices to connect branding (in its widest sense) and brand identity (in its visual sense). We looked at how the brand balanced its basket of values, behaviours, and how it personified its voice.
Then we dug deeper with audits and interviews with decision-makers and key stakeholders to point out where the brand struggled to answer these questions. This priceless information determined early client approval for full content creation and direction. Our key data from the audit informed our strategic and narrative stage.
Finally, we balanced the tires for a long journey on the road. It was here that we learned if the established brand perception lagged behind the audited visual and verbal results.
Brand identity & positioning was under the radar. Its pricing model was perceived as too high and its voice was not heard within its communities. TUF needed to refine its sales strategy and marketing processes for Teleroo™.
The strategic digital goal was to improve brand awareness and global positioning with campaign planning based on the verbal glue of informal and formal story branding. The tactical storytelling and media goal was to increase the number of online licenses being generated, increase visibility with segmented user personas and provide personification of the TUF brand voice. In a nutshell, the bottom line was selling Teleroo™ licenses.
Likes, comments, shares, and views, were shaping meaning, but were not speaking to core purpose. The communication audit identified the relevant social channels and determined which were losing stock - and developed the necessary bones for the digital strategy.
Our focus was to keep pace with early adoption models and strike proper balance between brand value and emotional benefits. We knew the informal and formal story branding had to raise emotional and functional currency, build goodwill and encourage natural sharing.
We piggy-backed off the ability to be more agile and created short, crisp and informative copy to create meaningful community interactions. Strategy shifted to highly-personable content that was quick, fast and shareable to support the informal and formal story branding.
Positioning Teleroo™ as a leader in its field required a strategic digital plan that executed on story branding, thought leadership and micro advertising. It had to drive and fill the conversation funnel with a mobile first approach (MFA). This included copywriting and functional design that bridged value solutions for specific user persona pain points.
The overall vital success of the project was based on discovery of hidden details that glued Teleroo™ together as a team, and drove who, and what, they really were.
In a nutshell, we built the brand around the basic needs of the TUF core values of care, collaborate, courage, connect and creativity. Its brand voice was confident and direct, fun and positive, wise, measured and precise. Its brand personality was authentic, caring, trustworthy and thoughtful, playful, resilient, grounded, intelligent and approachable.
We developed a strategy around pillars and themes as verbal glue and moved branding from the backseat—and made the human story front and centre again. We knew that original content embraced authenticity, realness and swagger.
From blogs to thought leadership pieces, we positioned the brand voice as an expert advocate in their field. In an era of fake news, we focused on storytelling from families and team members, as well as industry insights from the founder and CEO. This built trust with user personas and added some social clout to the brand narrative.
We knew from experience that projects can take twists and turns—so we wanted to create buffer space for big and bold ideas. We purposely designed the creative with plasticity to be compatible with change. This included an adaptive nature for omni-channels to make for a healthy and happy ecosystem. And, as suspected, a late campaign strategy was introduced, out of scope, to the content mix—we were still able to roll with the new ideas.
With the informal and formal story branding in place, the visual, verbal and audible were ready to personify. Our social media innovation goals and objectives were to promote the Teleroo™ voice, increase curated content, build brand ambassadors, increase brand awareness and develop thought leadership bones.
We knew that positioning the human story front and centre would also include the need to get visual. We followed the 3-30-3 rule and doubled-down on ad-quality design and added consistent imagery that caught the eyes in three seconds. We sprinkled in quick and fast micro copy and captions worth perusing for less than 30 more seconds. And wrote stories worth time reading in under three minutes. Finally, we followed the principle of create once and publish everywhere (COPE) for content scheduling and posting.
Our platform strategy was simple. We wanted to piggy-back emerging social media trends and narratives, including the shift away from newsfeed focuses. The ability to engage user personas with more meaningful interactions was easy with an informal and formal story powerhouse such as Teleroo™ and its team. After a slow start, we eventually had what storytellers call an embarrassment of riches—our hopper was always full of content and ready to fill the funnel. And our ability to be nimble positioned us with short, crisp and informative copy for quick, fast and shareable content.
With the core principles of branding firmly in our back pocket, we knew that Teleroo™ needed clear and flexible toolkits as well as highly-personable content. Creative had to be relevant and consistent across omni-channels in an ever-shifting digital environment. Blogs and artwork had to translate to social media and cater to a mobile first approach—and flex across the screen for posts, covers, headers and stories.
Imagery focus was both consistent and experimental—including A/B tests such as dark versus light imagery. Captions were both short and long in order to gauge the attention spans of user personas. Continuity was fundamental.
The visual effect was a new introduction but kept at its core the undeniably strong brand identity of a pioneering digital health leader in its field. In the end, we knew that leading with a story branding approach, strictly designed for a digital environment, also had to be clear and consistent.
The ability to be nimble and flexible played a paramount role for exceeding client business goals.
The Bottom Line
Prior to the launch of the strategic story branding and social media campaigning, TUF had a complicated and complex message architecture.
It also lacked strong and positive media coverage with minimal third party endorsements and earned media coverage.
Its cheers to success over the short-term included successful reputation risk management, vocal brand influencers and increased media awareness, with a side of audience awareness and expert advocate positioning.
We worked collaboratively with TUF, identified existing benchmark statistics and shared key performance indicators (KPI). In some cases, increased results exceeded more than 1.8K%—and up to more than 4.4K% in other cases.
In full disclosure, with a social media audience and overall multi-channel presence of close to nil at the beginning of the project, our metrics can be seen as slightly gaudy increases over the six-month project—so, that being said, some of the metrics need to be taken with a grain of salt.
However, we found the true success was best reflected in the key metrics for the Teleroo™ brand site—the average session durations were just shy of the 2:00 minute mark. As storytellers, we wanted our audience to pause and read.
As strategists, we knew our 3-30-3 principle was solid and we were satisfied with the increase in TUF metrics. This included, but was not limited to, overall brand site traffic, average session duration on blog pages and overall increase in demo request traffic—not to mention a 5.8K% increase in email sign-ups for the corporate newsletter!
Most impressive with the surge in overall brand awareness and earned media, was the fact we had zero budget for paid media buys.
All produced work was strategically based on grit and grind for targeted outbound efforts, individual effort and human product—and the holy grail of earned media.
All organic engagements were produced from tried and true formulas of informal and formal story branding and authentic micro advertising.
We know the real leaders roll their sleeves up and get on with the job.