Choose what your brand’s optimal position is, its optimal meaning - and then use that to carefully create the brand’s story The story will guide everything you do in order to grow - that’s a deliberate brand strategy. This will allow you to deliberately position your brand in an optimal way, rather than letting the market do it for you.
Now we use this word “deliberately” or “curated” a lot when talking about branding. I’d like to take the time to flesh out what we mean by this. Imagine watching the famous movie Shawshank Redemption. Imagine a team of script writers writing the script for months on end, rewriting and editing every word,then presenting that to Netflix to get funding, and go ahead. Netflix then editing and reshaping the story, later a team of artists storyboarding the entire series making sure that every scene is shot from the perfect angle, in the perfect location, in the perfect light, with the perfect actor or actress, in the perfect costume with the perfect make up artist, shot and reshot until it was just right. Then edited in a way to create a certain pace or reaction. Still later producers would decide when it will be aired etc etc. When you sit down to watch Shawshank Redemption hopefully you are oblivious to all of the background work that went into this carefully and deliberately curating the experience. So that you disappear seamlessly into the Shawshank world view. You feel as though it is real, their is an emotional response, it feels well rounded. You can almost feel, touch and smell the experience.
It would be awful to notice the editing in the movie… It would break our connection with that movies “reality” and “authenticity”. Your brands story, like Shawshank Redemption needs careful deliberate consistency. Any glitch in the Matrix, would draw our attention to the Matrix itself- we would be less likely to feel we know, like or trust the brand. This is storytelling at its best, careful, intentional, deliberate and seamlessly curated. Put another way, a brand is all the feelings you feel and the brand strategy is the way we curate those feeling and perceptions for your ideal customer. While all the while making sure not to interrupt their perception.
So, we know what a curated brand strategy is, now we need to ask ourselves “so what” why should I put all this time effort and money into a deliberate brand strategy? What value does it add?
A brand is the sum total of every interaction a customer has with you, your business and product. The essence of a brand is perception and feeling. These intangible qualities are shaped by very tangible means. Every piece of communication with your customers affects the growth of your brand. The more unified the brand message, the more loyalty there is. Greater loyalty leads to less shopping around by the potential target market. A powerful brand can charge a premium while a diluted brand offers more chance for parity products to take over. Great brands also become living assets that if nurtured well, keep growing!
Tiffany Tai from Canva recently gave a presentation about brand value. She said that we should imagine for a moment that the world had a momentary lapse in memory and we all forgot that we knew anything about brands. We knew nothing about Coke. How would we feel about this sugar, chemical-filled drink that we know is so unhealthy? Coke she says would probably go out of business and might even be deemed a health hazard. The brand is the very thing that has kept it alive. So what is the value of a brand? Well to Coke it is 8 billion dollars –more than a quarter the value of the company.
So yes, brands most definitely have great value!
Now, more than ever with COVID19, we are unable to meet clients face to face and sell what we do through personal interaction. This is when the brand, in our opinion, is even more essential. It is the smile and warm handshake of your company. The first impression a person will get and the lasting feeling they will hold onto.