Tag: #Branding

How to foster advocates and loyalists?

Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested to improve social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to the 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly  harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.

For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of belief-driven audience, fosters loyalists.  On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way?  By creating:

  • Personal and relatable contents
  • Provoking a conversation
  • Activating sustainable solutions
  • Engaging your audience to shape the social movement

Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.

“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.

Consider the shaping elements of a good storytelling as a starting point:

  • What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveil the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
  • Who: has been affected
  • Why: are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open ended questions.
  • How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
  • When: the development speed of a news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
  • Where: does your audience absorb information?

The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthens your authority.  Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.

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Procter & Gamble’s thought provoking ad called “The Talk”, acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.

Or “thank you Mom, Winter Olympics 2018” video:

Unicef’s campaign, “It’s on all of us to stand up and speak out to #ENDviolence against children. Recognize it. Report it”, deeply disturbs and propels you to act upon.

Personal Brand Storytelling With Videos

How to connect with your online audience in 7 seconds? How do you bring about an emotive response in the cyber space? How the online surfers, viewers or fans will get to experience your feelings, your attributes by reading your “About” page? The moving pictures are the answer.  Whether you are an executive, a consultant, an artist,…  creating video bios will significantly prompt deep and meaningful bonding. Visuals with well structured script are memorable. You have control over the flow of information to illuminate professionalism, inspiration, empathy, creativity or any personal attributes that will assure a favourable connection.

“Your brand is a unique promise of value”. William Arruda

The essential elements in producing compelling video bios for your personal branding:

Script: Create a storyline that is relevant to your profession. Start with your brand attribute, the authentic quality that reveals your character and supports your intention & unique promise.  An example might be that your brand is about helping others succeed as a consultant. Hence, that particular trait in your personal and work behaviour such as enthusiasm should be revealed in your script. Next employ your brand statement and weave a story that embodies your sensibilities, strengths and vulnerabilities. Account your experiences and challenges to toss in an intimate flavour to your content. Suppose you want to be regarded as an influencer, in that case you should give your perspective on a topic. For the most part, remember your written bio will list all your accomplishments however your visual motion should convincingly render abstract feelings apparent.

Visual Appeal:  Check the Basic rules of design, provided by Canva to help you with the shot compositions of places, people and yourself.

The audio: Choosing the right music and narrating your story should be in harmony with your images and your intent. Websites such as: AudioJungle or Freeplay Music allow you to choose the appropriate background music for your video. As for the voice-over, make sure that is clear. Your tone and pace should reinforce the emotions that correspond with important moments or ideas.

Last but not least, emerging technologies such as virtual reality, 360-degree video and augmented reality allow viewers to experience the adventure and visualize your work.  These immersive ways enable you to create notable and emotionally vibrant stories.

 

 

3 Key Elements Of Brand Storytelling

Why do you need a brand story:

Personal or corporate brand storytelling is about being remembered, motivating favourable action, engaging investors or changing perceptions. Simply, communicating your vision through a story allows your audience to be inspired, gain clarity and act with focus. For instance, in an investor relations meeting, by adapting your strategy to a story, you get rid of the complexity of the data which investors can surely find from other sources or lose focus during a presentation. The same applies in personal branding. Your audience will be motivated to engage and support your goal merely because you have made an impression and they will remember you.  In whatever capacity, your brand story should remove inconsistency and unreliability.

How to improve your brand storytelling:

To get you started, pay attention to the 3 critical elements to create an effective story.

Message/story: Be wary of the decisive factors in particular the order of your narrative, predisposed outlook of your audience, the appeal and whether the account is clear vs suggested. Recognize the emotions of your audience so that you can organize the flow of your story. For instance in an hostile environment, an impartial approach by giving both sides of the issue encourages active listening. Or, if your goal is to change opinion, painting a rosy & speculative picture is boring and slanted. Yet, introducing antagonists specially dark emotions such as fear to more promising sentiments such as hope and compassion gets people behind you.

You: Your audience will start processing your message in view of the fact that you are knowledgeable, trustworthy,  likable such as being a good listener or having a good sense of humour, your poise & neat appearance. Observance of these elements kindles change of perception. Be an expert, know your facts and avoid sluggish tempo when you talk.

Audience: Learn about their primary stance, explore whether they are motivated to accept, their intellectual capacity, their disposition and how much they feel confident about their capabilities. Providing that you are aiming to start an acceptance process and  bring about action. People are more inclined to persuasion when the message is clear and intelligibly simple.

In order to stand out from the crowd, form an identity that helps your audience see your differentiation & your accurate point of view. For the most part, zoom in on the future, be clear as what lies ahead and describe your vision. Just like in stock market, people invest in future rather than in the past.

Plan all the way to the end

You are ready to share your talent, your skills or your product with the world, NOW WHAT?

“Experience shows that, if one foresees from far away the designs to be undertaken, one can act with speed when the moment comes to execute them”Cardinal Richelieu 1585-1642

Plan, Plan & Plan. Creating a comprehensive plan will stop your to react emotionally and be in improvisation mode. Rigidity and over-planning are to anticipate crisis and bring clarity to your intentions & objectives. Improvisation leads to faking and ignoring the challenges at hand. A vague plan generates thoughtless actions which in turn  damage your brand identity.

“As water has no constant form, there are in warfare no constant conditions.” Sun Tzu

Adapting to uncertainty & having alternatives are to muster your team and thoroughly specify responsibilities.

Research your market, the competition, analyze, set deadlines,  milestones, coordinate and evaluate. Be rigorous in your end results still be flexible in the content.

“Do the right thing,…”, Sun Tzu

Do remember that an effective public relations plan is not about positive image more about sharing valuable information in the most creative and relevant ways. Authenticity, accuracy and reliability are your guiding lights to plan every step of the way.

“Those who do not use local guides are unable to obtain the advantages of the ground.” Sun Tzu

In the peer-to-peer culture, collaboration with influencers and journalists is important and crucial element of your plan. Partnering to create contents, having designated ambassadors and fathom solutions to better your community would be a powerful strategy.

A winning PR campaign knows its audience, has a concise and persuasive narrative, follows through the plan and is not distracted by outside factors. Be disciplined and communicate repeatedly your key messages. The golden rule for a plan to succeed is to keep the flow of communication with all involved.

Re-Create Yourself

There are no perfect paths in life, nor has anyone spent their entire existence happy, secure, and moving forward towards all their dreams. Dark moments and rough patches are part of every person’s life, but you don’t have to let your failings or mistakes define you.

At the end of the day, we are responsible for the way we show our face to the world, and if we want to change our lives, then we must forge a new identity. Never let someone else tell you who you are or what your role in the world will be. If you want to be a commanding, powerful figure, then play the part. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, Be the change you want to see in yourself.

People have been overcoming adversity to achieve great things since time immemorial. Instead of lying down and letting others tell you what your purpose is, you must reach out and make your own way in the world.

Consider the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, who was involved in a deadly car accident in 1969 that left his female companion dead and many unanswered questions floating around in the waters around Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. Instead of allowing the controversy to break his spirit, he instead resolved to succeed and became a dedicated public servant and served as a respected U.S. senator for four decades.

The point is, wielding power in the wider world begins by taking control of your own life, avoiding meaningless excuses, and holding yourself accountable to your limitations and your potential. Being honest with yourself about your weaknesses is a great place to start, and that sincerity will come off as authenticity to others, which is important when you’re redefining yourself.

As Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” You must first accept your mistakes and limitations and put them behind you. Once they are safely in your rear view mirror, you can focus on your strengths, which will be the foundation for this new, brighter, and better version of yourself.

However, the most important element in re-creating yourself is the mindset you carry with you. You need to be bold, shedding your old fears, trying new things, living purposefully, and appreciating the opportunities in your life as they arise. After redefining who you want to be and what you want to achieve in life, every situation will feel fresh, and each day will feel like a new opportunity for discovery. The face you show to the world must be bold, confident, and determined not to let anyone else shape your life. Traditions, expectations, and limitations foisted on you by others will only hinder the re-creation of your identity.

Jimmy Carter was the 39th President of the United States, but his life story is one of perpetual recreation. Following a successful career in the Navy, he was elected as a United States Senator, and then the governor of Georgia, before winning the US presidency in 1976. Most people would be satisfied with being the Commander in Chief, but Carter followed his presidency with his most impressive identity recreation. For more than 30 years, the Carter Center has been a beacon of hope for millions around the world, supporting human rights campaigns, affordable housing, international conflict resolution, and disease prevention. Jimmy Carter was even awarded the Nobel Prize in 2002 for his groundbreaking work, and remains the only US president to receive the prize for his work after leaving the White House.

Perhaps now you can see how identity is far from concrete. The creation of our identity never stops, and we must look at ourselves as malleable clay that we can shape as we grow. In a sense, we are artists, painting the masterpiece of our lives. Recognizing this opportunity can spark the process of re-creation, empowering us to grow up, take risks, make more mistakes, and eventually find greatness.