Camp Ozark, Emotional Connections and the Promise Behind the Brand
How to use emotional connections to build strong brands
When it comes to branding, there is nothing more important than forming emotional connections with your audience. In the end, that’s the essence of what branding is all about – a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization. Sometimes these emotional connections are carefully planned and organized, and sometimes they come organically from the most unlikely of places. One such place is located in the small town of Mt. Ida, Arkansas, and hidden there in the middle of nowhere is a place called Camp Ozark.
For those that might not be familiar with Camp Ozark, it is what you might think of when you envision the ideal summer camp experience. But what this particular camp has managed to accomplish over the years is quite remarkable, and make no mistake, their success has everything to do with their ability to form strong emotional connections both with their campers and the parents responsible for sending them there.
At RUSSO we talk a lot about businesses identifying and adhering to their promise behind the brand. While that may sound like clever advertising lingo, it really is the foundation for successful brands. In doing so, businesses are able to establish trust with their audience by delivering on their promise at every turn.
Camp Ozark has a good understanding of their promise and it shows, but more importantly, they have found a way to deliver on that promise through their traditions, activities and overall philosophy. In doing so, they have managed to build a tribe of loyal followers over the years that leave Mt. Ida each summer as future advocates.
To be clear, we are big believers in strong positioning, creative messaging and strategically sound marketing. But without the ability to establish and deliver on your brand promise, no amount of advertising will save you, and it will definitely not help you develop a tribe of loyal followers that value what you do and how you do it.
Camp Ozark stands as a great example of how emotional connections help to build a strong brand over time, but the same philosophy can be applied to any service, product or company, regardless of size or geographic location. The key is to gain an understanding of who you are and how you can enhance the lives of those you are trying to reach. Once you have this figured out, the development of a strategy to communicate with your audience becomes that much easier.
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