“In the Era of Meaning, people are looking for connection, belonging, and an identity of their own.”
The Missing Link by Virginia Nava.
A long time ago, people used to express their wealth in terms of the number of cattle they had. Given they are similar, how could they tell who their owner was? As painful as it may sound, they would mark them using a burning iron with the owner’s initials, that is, they would brand them. Of course, that’s not what brand strategy consulting does nowadays. What is it about then?
As time has passed, and the market relationships have evolved, branding means more than just marking your cattle or property. These days, it’s more about differentiating your business from others. It’s also a bridge to tell your customers who you are, what they might get after using your products, and the meaning they get beyond this.
Indeed, a brand should communicate its core business to the right customer. You want to connect with those who would get the benefit of the value you are offering in the market. How can you do that?
Brand strategy consulting and the market
As complex as human beings are, markets are even more intricated. Whoever wants to differentiate in the crowd might feel overwhelmed over the many ways to do so. There are several elements involved such as:
- Product design
And the list can keep going… That’s why a strategy is key here as it will serve as a guide to go where you want. If your business is a ship, the strategy is the guiding light leading you to the docks.
Easy, right? And yet, it is pretty common finding ourselves struggling in the market to connect with people. Perhaps, the real challenge is about the way we build that strategy, instead of creating one for the sake of it.
What is the foundation of a brand strategy then? The core of the business, its heart, its essence, its why. Since meaningful connections only happen between human beings, you and your team need to understand what that core is about.
There is a simple and complex exercise you can do to discover the heart of your business. Analyze it. Strip it into its component layers. Is there something your business cannot live without? This is a key part of the brand strategy.
This core is the very answer to questions like why do you keep this business alive? Why do people buy from you instead of a competitor? Why do people work with you? After meditating on these questions, the common answer will have something to do with the original purpose of your business.
In other words, you want to understand its meaningful connection to the world. Today, you differentiate your business by sharing its heart with the community. By asking and listening to your customers.
Product-driven or customer-driven brand?
Imagine you are in a social meeting where you don’t know anybody. What would be the best approach to start a conversation? Talking about yourself and what you do or asking questions and listening to what everyone has to say?
People tend to feel more comfortable with those showing interest in their lives, dreams, goals, challenges, and so on. As surprising as it can be, it is the same with brands and customers. In the end, there are only humans interacting with each other.
So, how would you connect your brand with your customers? Talking about your products or about the topics they want to hear? It seems like listening to our customers is key when working on the brand strategy to make a difference.
Let’s use an example to shade more light on this. For a brand offering a box of cereal for kids, would they want to talk about how crunchy it is? Or more about their friends eating the same box of cereal?
In this case, a brand message communicating the good feeling you get by sharing your cereal with friends can be more powerful. It all depends on the meaning the brand and its product have for the customer.
Imagine this cereal brand also donated money to save the planet or help save the rhinos and told the kids about this. Imagine the connection the kid would have to this brand and its meaning to do good to society. Imagine how this kid would feel being a small part of this good.
Purpose connection, lasting connection
As you can see, brand strategy consulting can help to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a brand. It focuses on assisting you to find the core of your business. That is its heart, its essence.
And then, find smart ways to communicate it through the marketing channels. The final goal here is connecting with customers in a meaningful way.
It doesn’t matter that you are a solopreneur, entrepreneur, a small business, or a big company. As long as there are human beings involved, meaningful connection is key. Take advantage of this, and you will differentiate your brand from others in the market.
Are you wondering whether this is key? Ask yourself about the importance of bringing loyal customers through marketing and branding with purpose, the importance of lasting employee relationships through a meaningful place to go to work at.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. For a deeper explanation, please check out the strategic workbook called “The Missing Link Is The Meaning Link” by Virginia Nava.
You can also send a message for more information on how to discover your gifts, so you can use them to improve your business. Moreover, you can have insights on how you can think up a strategy and a brand that creates a meaningful experience for your customers and clients.
Edited by Ludwig Laborda