the perfect brand story

emotion iconHave you ever heard of ‘show don’t tell’?

When you read a good book, you’re totally engrossed in the scene. You can feel the grass under your feet, hear the birds singing and smell the blossom. Immediately, you’re transported into a park in the middle of spring. The author didn’t tell you that, did they?

People naturally do a lot of telling – me included – so we need to stay 100% aware when we’re talking about the foundation of our brand. The brand story.

We hear a lot about ‘storytelling’, but not so much about the challenging task to come up with our own brand story – and feeling comfortable just showing. Let me show you.

Biography – Tell

We started ‘Y’ after 16 years in the corporate world, because we were tired of working very hard for what felt like little impact. So we decided we wanted to do something different – and make a difference. We wanted to make communication easier for small businesses and give them access to the same tools as big businesses, whilst making messages easier to digest for their customers.  And avoiding over-communication.

We found an office in Zurich and started to talk to potential clients. We soon realised they wanted what we had to offer, but they didn’t know what it was or how to describe it.  So we worked together with them to define our offer – in a way that mattered to them.

And ‘Y’ was born. We believe in long-term relationships, so we spend quality time with our customers to get their brand foundations and language right. So that they know who they are and how they communicate it.

Brand Story – Show

Sitting at her bright white desk, day after day, Rebecca dreamt about change. Changing her focus. Changing her career. Changing the world.

Day after day, she watched as people communicated in the strangest ways. Emails danced in circles.  People talked in thirty-second breaths whilst running from one thing to another and new messages zipped around their screens and minds.

People were lost. So was she. She knew something needed to shift as people became more engrossed in their busy lives, before we all became over-loaded.

Pondering who would come up with a solution, she realised something very clearly – she didn’t need to wait.  She could help businesses share their message in an uncomplicated, yet human way.  For themselves, but most importantly for the long-term.

Rebecca no longer dreamt of change. She lived it. Because the power to create is in everyone’s hands.

What’s the difference?Writing journal

People have varying mix of rational and emotional responses. When we make a decision to interact with a brand, we’re making it first on an emotional level. It’s the part that you just ‘do’ or ‘know’.

If your audience and customer base are more inclined to use their rational brain, then instead of spelling out your argument, consider the language you use. More direct, action orientated verbs. More ‘sense’ driven descriptions – look, see, feel, touch. Reality, but inherent.

Psychology is important to reach your customers

Long, short, active, passive – it doesn’t matter. You need to really know your audience, as well as yourselves to create the perfect brand story. Then you need to challenge your rational brain and connect on an emotional level.

The perfect brand story can feel like a risk. But a necessary one to make you stand out from your competitors and more importantly, reach your audience.

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direct e-mail: stand up, stand out and be counted

I have a direct e-mail pet hate – I simply get too many.  And that’s just the ones I subscribe to!  So I started a project.  Instead of hitting delete out of principle, before reading what the e-mail actually says, or hitting unsubscribe out of principle, before reading what the e-mail actually says; I decided to read each one and see how effective they are.

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who are your audience?

Customers are Ignoring You

(Photo credit: ronploof)

How much do you really know about your potential customers?  And your current ones?Knowing your audience is crucial to great writing and communication, but it’s more difficult than ever with the huge reach of social media and internet marketing to find out who they are.  Unfortunately we don’t all have the budget for gathering insights and market research; sometimes all we can do is ask and use our knowledge to make some assumptions.

This was one of the first issues I stumbled on when researching my business.  It’s something I need to understand for my customers before I can find their personality and write great copy; so it was a great process to go through.

When you take a local service business, it seems more obvious.  A hairdresser’s reach is fairly local and their offers define their target audience.  You can take a demographic and really focus on what motivates and speak to them, to write copy and communications that make them sit up and take notice.

But when your audience is wider, how can you reach the same goals and find a concept that really works? Read more of this post

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