Point of View has become one of the primary communications currencies we use to influence audience actions and create marketplace differentiation. Never before has the need for a sharply defined POV been more prevalent in the integrated technology and consumer programs our agency undertakes.
The dictionary tells us that POV is “a position or perspective from which something is considered or evaluated.” We define it as “your take” on any given issue. This take turns into a key takeaway for the people any given brand seeks to influence and helps create new mindsets and changes in behavior. Without it, brands and their communications program lack contextual and emotional connection to an audience and often revert to a bland sameness that was commonplace in the pre-Internet/pre-social eras. Those dark ages, of course, were characterized by the one-way megaphone approach of “shouting” at folks through the singular channel of traditional media relations.
The Internet brought the ability for people to communicate online and find either birds of a feather relative to shared views in forums and the like or find conflicting views and offer up alternative opinions. Social media and the sharing culture that accompanied it extended this exchange of viewpoints to a hyper scale. The weight of opinion was increased with the advent of social because essentially, everybody could be their own “channel.” This created the equivalent of a simultaneous broadcast of millions of thoughts on any given subject. Tagging enabled those opinions to be easily aggregated and the next thing you knew, there was an entirely new wave of opinion shaping online. The dramatic increase of opinion-based online consumer sentiment has demonstrated the power of POV at the grassroots level. It also aligned nicely with our longtime view that POV creates equally powerful communications opportunities for brands.
We have long believed that people buy from people, not from brands. Because of this, we place a high value on the face we place on a brand. Anybody can be a spokesperson, but not everybody is a strong communicator. POV helps bridge the gap by not only providing a mindset that the spokesperson can take to market on changes or vision that are required to shape a technology or an issue but, also, a big picture perspective that gets people thinking and engaged. When we begin work with a new client or a new spokesperson, a POV sourcing session is conducted to obtain perspective on industry trends that intersect the client’s business and, also, on what action we want from our audience. POV is a great catalyst to spark a dialogue between a spokesperson/company and the people who comprise the stakeholder community. It can be equally catalytic as a program component that gets them thinking about what they need to do, why they should do it and what the reward might be.
POV influences people. It helps creates a new mindset for those who digest it and put a significantly more human touch on a brand persona. It is valuable currency in today’s world of communications. Earn it and spend it wisely.