Brand TherapyApr 30
What exactly does a brand consultant do?
Well, that’s a worthwhile question to ask, but, like this really smart (if somewhat) unpopular guy Socrates often did, let’s answer that question with another series of questions. Because it’s about time for a heart-to-heart about who you are and what you want. It is brand therapy time.
Who are you?
We don’t mean in some deep existential sense. We mean, what is the identity of your brand? Whether you are a local business or an international brand, you represent a unique identity. Almost without doubt you do not present a unique product or service. Even the talents of your workers, no matter how talented they may be, are not inherently unique. But your brand – that is potentially the most unique thing about you. What is it? Take a long look in the mirror. The question is not who do you want to be, it is who are you? What do you think customers see when they look at you?
For some reason, many businesses are deeply afraid to allow their branding to speak to that uniqueness.
What does your brand stand for?
What are your beliefs, and how do they show through your actions? Many companies have “philosophy” and “mission” statements that have very little to do with their actual business practices, and it shows. And even more importantly, how do you treat your employees? Do you work to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses by tailoring a project management strategy based on their unique traits? Do you have a unique brand identity that is based on their unique approach? Forget mission statements and words – live the myth of your brand through your actions, and you will reap real-world, long term rewards for it.
What do you want customers to take away from the experience? What do they take away from it now?
This is a time and place to be honest, not to pretend, and not to throw out fake PR smokescreens. Nowhere are such things more likely to backfire than in the “social” space online, which is why that is one of the first places we seek to take your brand management once we have a grasp on who you really are.
It is only after this point that it comes time to begin looking at what that brand story is.
If you have been paying attention, it should be especially clear at this point why you want to hire an outside consultancy to help you strategize and manage your brand. Why? Because they aren’t tied into the internal politics of your company. They shouldn’t be made afraid to speak truth to power, and they will be able to have an outside perspective on what you are actually presenting to the world. When it comes to small, niche brands, we are the people for you to hire, whether to sculpt an overall brand remodeling or to create a viral adjunct to a new product release. But we will be the first to admit that it is not a part of our core brand identity to do this kind of work for international brands. There are plenty of other, larger consultancies that do that. We’ll even refer you to some of them, if you’re not the right match for us.
And that’s what branding is all about: discovering who you are, owning it, and being the best at that. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. You don’t need to.
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