Where content is king, branding is key

Raquel Messias, Chief Strategy Officer at Lew'Lara\TBWA, on brand consistency

by India Fizer , AdForum

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São Paulo, Brazil
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Raquel Messias
Chief Strategy Officer Lew'Lara\TBWA

With the amount of content we have accessible at our fingertips, it can be difficult to stand out in a sea of content on any platform. Raquel Messias, Chief Strategy Officer at Lew'Lara\TBWA, fills us in on the key to brand consistency and being able to discern what's right for the essence of the brand.

Content is the bridge between you and your audience. How do you anticipate and then integrate the right topics for your audience while maintaining a consistent brand voice? 

Content is all about action and reaction; it all starts with strategy. More than determining your audience, it is very important to choose the kind of conversation the brand will be part of and being meticulous in choosing topics related to the brand character and tone of voice, otherwise it won’t be consistent and true to the brand. 

Nowadays, most brands are thirsty to identify trends across audiences, but, more important than identifying it, is to have the discipline to choose. On social media, brands should act as a person. The right buildup of the brand character combined with definition of the channel roles are key to being a part of the audience’s conversation without losing consistency.


What role does branding play in content marketing?

Branding is key. Content is the most authentic way to connect the brand with its audience, so it needs to bring to life all the personality of the brand, respecting its character and tone of voice. It is important to point out that the brand is much bigger than the channel. Branding should rule and only channels related to the brand purpose should be part of it.

It seems to be simple, but it is easy to lose track and get distracted trying to be part of every channel, trend or conversation. Being meticulous when choosing is mandatory to respect the essence of the brand.


Not everything can be advertised the same way, which can require a different approach across clients. How does content affect the way something is marketed and how do you pivot to treat this? 

The variety of channels we have today gives us the possibility of dealing with the same themes and subjects with different audiences. This is quite challenging, as it requires the presentation of the same message in different ways, which, at the same time, expands our connection potential and requires us to have a high level of alignment with the essence of the brand. Our exercise is always to think about how to balance the relevance of the message, the purpose of the channel and the desire of the audience.


Without giving away your secrets, what are some things that are integral to your internal checklist when creating content?

The first point is, don’t confuse the brand tone of voice with the audience’s tone of voice. The target should inspire the brand character, but the brand character needs to be authentic and unique. Then, the choice of the channels that connects with the brand character and role of each channel to bring the brand purpose to life. To finalize, guarantee it is relevant for the audience and creative enough to stand out in a crowd.


How do you strategize for the way audiences will want to interact with content in virtual realities, Web 3.0, and the metaverse? To what extent do you involve influencers and consumers in creating the brand narrative?

Nowadays co-creation is the name of the game. But, independent of where the content will be brought to life, independent of the channel or the new technology the brand uses to reach the target, relevance is key. With the emerging of new channels and technologies, maintaining brand relevance is a huge challenge to marketers. When it comes to Brand Content, the use of new technologies or presence in a new channel doesn’t help to build connection with the audience if it is not relevant enough to them.