Are You Telling a Tale of a Neglected Brand?
Anyone who has ever been to a job interview has probably heard the question ‘where do you see yourself in five years time?’ But how many companies ask that about their brand?
For many, branding or rebranding their company, product or service is something they see as a project – it has a start, middle and end, just like any good story. Except, no story ever really has an end…because there always has to be something that happens next.
When it comes to your brand’s story, you have two choices: you can write the beginning and then leave it to take its own course until you decide to rebrand again, or you can keep on moulding your own narrative based on changes in market conditions, customer requirements and your own commercial strategy. (No prizes for guessing which approach we’d recommend!)
So what do we mean when we talk about a brand story? Put simply, it’s the process of looking at your brand now, examining what it says about you, asking how you want it to communicate your strengths and values more effectively and mapping out the narrative that will help you do that.
While it’s a process that should never have an ‘end’, shaping your brand story does have a starting point. To begin your story you must first determine three things:
1. What brand story you’ve told so far
2. Who is listening
3. What they’ve heard (which, of course, is not necessarily the same as what you think you’ve communicated!)
That process starts with market research and a willingness to really interrogate things that you may have always taken for granted, such as where the competition lies, what influences your customers and how they perceive you.
It’s important to see this as an opportunity to improve and build a meaningful brand narrative rather than avoiding the tough responses: all information is useful, it’s what you do with it that counts!
Once you fully understand who your audience is, what they think about you and what they’re looking for, you can start to shape a brand story that reflects those key indicators and aligns your marketing activity with your picture of success.