How to craft a platform with staying power

Mark Weinstein, chief marketing officer, Hilton. (Photo used with permission)
Mark Weinstein, chief marketing officer, Hilton. (Photo used with permission)

Steps to crafting a platform that defines your brand’s essence.

In the fiercely competitive realm of marketing, establishing a brand platform that stands the test of time is the ultimate goal. 

The path to building an enduring legacy involves breaking away from crowded spaces and discovering a guiding principle that leads to unparalleled success. 

Embracing the potential of a robust platform, brands can unlock captivating campaigns, impactful collaborations and innovative social media promotions, effectively spreading their message far and wide. 

Here are three essential steps for creating lasting marketing campaigns that capture the very essence of your brand and reshape the landscape of your industry.

1. Break away from the crowd

Competition in the marketing arena is intense, with every brand vying for our increasingly diminished attention. So the challenge lies in standing out from the crowd, as most campaigns tend to tell similar stories using familiar tropes. 

In the hospitality industry, hotels, airlines, travel bureaus and various modes of transportation are all racing to capture travelers’ imaginations. We all have the same insights, ultimately telling stories with the same “Eat, Pray, Love” cliché. Additionally, marketers often move from one campaign to another, neglecting the need to build a consistent platform that resonates with audiences and blurs identities between competitors. 

Breaking through the noise means challenging norms and delivering a message that leaves a lasting impact. Iconic brands like American Express, Apple and Nike are examples of companies that succeeded in differentiating themselves from competitors. Their messages transcended mere campaigns and became timeless platforms that are the very essence of their brands. 

To succeed as marketers, we need to capture our own essence and tell our own extraordinary stories.

2. Find your true north

Seeking your true north is like finding your guiding star – your big, overarching idea that serves as the core of your brand. With a clear platform in place, each piece of content, commercial, social media activation, etc., becomes an opportunity to shine. Your team can fearlessly experiment, knowing that even if one idea doesn’t soar, there are countless more to follow. Embracing this mindset sets you free to explore uncharted territories and unleash creativity like never before.

Hilton’s true north since our foundation more than 100 years ago has always been about a hotel stay, yet the world wasn’t truly hearing our story. In developing our first global platform, it was clear that The Stay needed to be our guiding light. 

For the Stay isn’t just another marketing initiative; it is the embodiment of Hilton’s identity and purpose. The Stay is the most important offering we can provide to consumers. We embraced the truth that a guest’s stay with us is more than just a transaction; it’s a profound experience that truly matters. This realization compelled us to break free from the cycle of short-lived campaigns and create something remarkable. 

3. Build a platform that endures

Once you’ve defined your brand’s identity and purpose, crack open the marketing textbooks, do the quantitative and qualitative research, listen to your customers to understand what is on their minds and perform all the necessary steps to build an enduring platform. Then, welcome the unknown, push boundaries, craft authentic stories and continuously evolve to remain relevant. But do so with passionate creators who embody your vision and values. 

Your brand’s success requires investing in the right people and then empowering them to challenge convention and bring the vision to life.

Creators unlocked a world of possibilities with For the Stay, spreading our message through captivating cinematic commercials, impactful out-of-home advertising, compelling collaborations and bold social media promotions, like a 10-minute TikTok on a platform known for 28-second spots. Liberating each asset from the pressure of standing alone, the power of our platform emerged, enabling us to triple down on our mission, fueling even greater achievements.

As you witness your team craft remarkable content that resonates with consumers, watch your brand’s narrative flourish. Though challenges may arise, remember that fear and uncertainty are natural companions on any transformative journey. Accept them, for if you’re not a little scared, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough to achieve greatness. 

Mark Weinstein is the chief marketing officer at Hilton.

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