What is the brand of the VFW New Haven?
What is the marketing message of the VFW New Haven?
What is the competitive advantage of the VFW New Haven?
Does the post have a clear and powerful reputation?
What is the post identity?
What is our marketing strategy?
Does it differ from the VFW as a whole?
Watching the VFW sponsored YouTube presentation by Lida Citroen called “What is Personal Branding?” I wondered what is the brand of the VFW and our post.
In the video, Citroen said, “a brand is just an expectation of an experience. A brand makes us feel something. A brand makes us inspired, motivated, safe. It makes us feel powerful, confident or insecure and afraid. The VFW brand is known for many things. It’s a legacy brand… it’s a brand of advocacy and thinking forward. Brands make us feel something. Marketing is where we tell our audiences what to do with that brand.”
While I agree with Citroen’s definitions of branding, I would argue that most Americans and Post-9/11 veterans do not perceive the VFW as forward thinking or associate the VFW with advocacy. You, as a VFW member might, but the young veterans and general public do not. Perception and judgement aren’t fair says Citroen, and on the whole, the general perception of the VFW does not associate “forward thinking” and “advocacy” with our brand.
“Judgement and perception are where you are going to get control,” Citroen says as she explains how people judge brands by touch points. For a post, these touch points translate into action. What does the post do? Do they reflect and align with their values? With those two elements (values + action = credibility).
Additionally, Citroen talks about target audience. “Who does your brand need to mater to. Who will find you relevant and compelling or not? The good part is you have a lot of control over this.” She goes on to say to focus on the communities that are aligned with what you value and then go on and figure out what that target audience needs.
There are two sets of needs: functional (basic, primary) and emotional (higher). To paraphrase and align with the context of a post and not a person, Citroen says if you can figure out what that target audience “needs to feel you can then build a relationship and then move toward the transfer of confidential information, which is the highest form of relationship.”
So what do Post-9/11 veterans need to feel? Does the VFW New Haven address that need?
Yea, I don’t know either.
Citroen, Lida. “What Is Personal Branding?” YouTube. LIDA360, 21 Oct. 2016. Web. 24 Nov. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcSqqejxDjM>.