Your Brand: It’s the Cargo Not the Container.
Brand. Such a sneaky little booger. Kind of like a yeti or Kevin Costner’s acting skills; people think they might have seen it somewhere, but in reality, ask them for specifics, and they’ve got nothing.
So what is brand and why is it so important? Simply put, brand is the emotional connection between your business and your customers. It’s your company’s personality. It’s not just a logo or typeface or a product, it’s every facet of your business all rolled into one. From the way your lobby looks to the way your receptionist answers the phone to how your account managers deal with clients, plus a million other things. Not the least of which is the content & experiences you offer your customers.
Content and experiences are the voices you have to tell your customers what you’re all about. This is where you get to show everyone what makes your company unique and “likeable.” Because if you don’t have a personality worth paying attention to, current and future customers are going to at best ignore you or worse assign a personality to you. And if that happens well, you just might be as the say in France, le screwed.
You also need to realize your brand isn’t about fancy digital this or awesome social that. If there’s nothing behind that technological façade, who cares? You can have the most amazing tools around but if you’re not delivering the stories and experiences that your customers want to see, you’ve just got a fancy way of delivering crap.
ROI is another thing that can get in the way of building a great brand. Now don’t get me wrong I like money, a lot, but if your sole focus in building your brand is making sure you’re getting a great ROI, then you need to rethink your priorities. Brand building takes time and you might not be able to see a return that makes sense right way. You don’t look at your best friend and calculate the ROI in your relationship, do you? Come to think of it though, if some of my friends are any indication, I might need to rethink this last statement.
Now let’s talk about building the brand that your company deserves that lets you produce the best content you can. We’ll even do it with a list and an acronym, because it’s not officially official until we have lists and acronyms.
- Conduct a brand audit to find out what your brand is and what your past, present and future customers think about it.
- Research who you want to be, and should be, talking to. Who are they? How do they consume their content and experiences? What matters to them? What’s the best way to reach them.
- What parts of your story will interest your customers? What experiences and content can you create for them?
- Develop a fully integrated plan and hit your audience with a unified strategy wherever they are. You need to go to them, you can’t expect them to come to you.
- Here’s that acronym I promised you. Build your brand with E.A.S.E. – Engage your audience Authentically with great Stories and great Experiences. See what I did there?
- And finally find the right team to help you pull all this off, hint, hint call One Floor Up.
And that’s it folks, the quick”ish” and dirty version on the importance of brand development and how it relates to creating great content.