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We live in a world that is extremely noisy. Once where our attention is constantly being pulled from pillar to post and back again.
There are way too many people, brands and causes fighting for our limited amounts of time, attention and bandwidth. Unfortunately, that means most of what we come in contact with is ignored, on a daily basis.
The problem is, as much as you are filtering others, they are filtering you.
They are deciding, within a very short period, probably seconds, whether what you do is important to them now. If not, you are being either cast aside or in the best-case scenario, put into a part of the brain that will allow for recall when needed.
So, with this in mind, does your brand story resonate?
Do the people you wish to influence, whether they be customers or employees, really care about you and what you have to offer? Do they perceive that you add value to their lives and if not, why not?
Are you communicating effectively and telling a story that people will listen to, understand how it benefits them and want to engage with, or are you merely the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons? (Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah)
When was the last time you took your pulse of the relevance of how you present yourself and how you communicate? When was the last time you asked your clients “how do you perceive us, and do we add real value to you?” When was the last time you asked your employees “what do we stand for as a company and who are the people we serve?”
Every company needs to evaluate their brand on a regular basis. Have you changed? Do you offer things that you never offered before? Do you serve different clients and solve different problems from when you incorporated?
The answer is probably yes! The challenge is, you are probably still communicating based upon a brand story that is no longer relevant!
Your story needs to tell not only where you came from, but where you are and where you are going. It needs to be a visual map that is easy to understand, recall and retell. Vision and mission statements do not do this.
Vision and mission statements, although agonized over by companies all over the world, are not ingrained into the psyche of employees, management or customers. They are words on a page, that had relevance the day that they were developed, to a limited group of people, but they are hard to recall and almost impossible for the average person to retell accurately.
A brand story, on the other hand, even if not told perfectly, is a tool that everyone can identify with, internalize and recount. It is through that recounting of the story, that brands become relevant to a new audience and develop champions who want to retell them.
But only if they are authentic!
The story will only be retold and engaged with if those involved believe in it and they will only believe in it if it is authentic.
The story needs to tell who you are today and where you want to go and show the roadmap that people can follow. It needs to demonstrate your value to your audience, either internal or external and tell the why behind what you do.
If you can do this, compellingly, you can stop being just another brand in the marketplace. You can stop being marginalized and stop being a commodity and start being a brand worth loving.
And isn’t that what we all want to be?
Ben Baker is the Chief Storyteller at Your Brand Marketing, author of “Powerful Personal Brands: a hands-on guide to understanding yours” and works with his clients to provide workshops, keynotes and consulting services on brand strategy and brand communication. He wants to work with you to allow you to STOP BEING A COMMODITY and instead BE A BRAND WORTH LOVING