This blogging series of six articles will take you through the core elements to successfully communicate with your audience through storytelling and multichannel campaigns.
For every business, it is vital to stand out from the crowd, be inspiring and tell a story that is truly yours.
"People buy from people they like" - a common phrase we hear in marketing.
Whilst this is true, people also buy from people and companies they don't like, overlooking personal feelings because they know it's a guaranteed, reliable and often cheaper experience.
The main reason people stay loyal to a brand is trust.
A brand that continues to promote a consistent message, a consistent service and behaves in a recognisable manner will ultimately develop a higher level of brand loyalty and recognition than a brand that comes across as ambiguous and disengaged.
Gone are the days where you can simply glamorise your brand to win business. Now you must embrace an ethos of clarity and transparency.
So, how is this achieved?
Firstly, you need to be very clear on what your business objectives are and what information you use to communicate those objectives effectively. You want your target audience to recognise you as a leading expert in your field and one they should be proud to align with.
You need your audience to want to work with you because they can relate to you and value your service - not just because you can promise cheap work and deliver it quickly.
A good place to start is to write your mission statement - the foundation upon which a brand is built. Used to communicate a brand's purpose, this statement is the soul of your business and although most businesses keep the same message for years, mission statements should evolve in line with the changing landscape of your business.
Put into practice, you need to ensure that you remain true to your mission. If you don't know what you're here for - no one else will either.
The next stage should be to develop your core brand values - ensuring these reflect what has been outlined in your mission statement, providing bite-sized digestible insights into your business. Your audience should see and feel that these values are demonstrated through their interaction with you.
For example, if your value is taking a person-centred approach, then your ability to understand and see the project in front of you from the client's perspective is crucial. You can't claim to be person-centred if your customer service hotline is an automated response. Don't shoot yourselves in the foot - promise what is achievable and embrace it.
Additionally, look for the values that differentiate you from your competitors. To say you provide a top quality service isn't inspiring, it's expected. Explaining that you go above and beyond the call of duty or that you don't just meet expectation, you surpass them. This is your value.
The next step, once you've finalised your core messaging is to ensure that the values and the ethos you've chosen to run your business by can be reflected in your interactions with the wider community - ensuring your business has a positive social impact. This is achieved through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
Through aligning with charitable groups, adopting a green environmental policy in your office or sticking to employment laws, you showcase your social stance. This gives people a greater understanding of what you stand for and whether they, in turn, want to stand with you.
Some of the most prominent brands can be recognised through the embodiment of their brand culture. Brands like Innocent Smoothie, Apple, Lego and Virgin, all live and breathe the values they promote -providing an easy way for an audience to develop a connection.
Once you are able to identify what your business stands for, the next step is to get your brand to say what you want it to say. Up next is STEP 2 - What Does Your Brand Say?
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