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The Hallmarks Of Good Marketing

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

A real estate agent can generate more interest in a property by listing it well below the expected selling price. Underquoting is sometimes used as a marketing tactic to create a heightened sense of urgency in prospective buyers who don’t want to miss out. When the property sells for 30% above the quoted price range, the agent can fool himself (and his vendors) into thinking that this was simply the result of a good marketing campaign. Disappointed buyers don’t see it that way.

Good marketing attempts to inform, not deceive. A good marketer sets out to help buyers, not to confuse them. Good marketers add value. They don’t just close the sale. Good marketing is not a short-term sales tactic, it’s part of a long-term business building strategy.

Our job is to leave people feeling better for having worked with us. Good marketing starts with the intention to do just that.

Image by Robert Bell

In Praise Of Intangibles

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Think about all the things you didn’t charge your customers for today, those things that don’t appear as line items in your budget. The care with which you choose ingredients. The way you treat your employees. The time you spend listening to a prospective customer’s problems, so you can excel at anticipating your future customer’s needs.

The intangibles that differentiate your business may not be visible on the balance sheet today, but they might just be the reason it endures.

Image by Creative Industries

A Measure Of Progress

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

In the animal kingdom ‘more’ is often the best measure of success. Herds and hoarders have a better chance of survival. But ‘more’ isn’t always the best measure of human progress.

The longest queue isn’t always a sign of better quality.
The most sales don’t always lead to a more sustainable business.
The greatest number of Facebook likes isn’t always an indication of the deepest impact.
The biggest accolade doesn’t always lead to the greatest fulfilment.

A lot of what we do every day is done in the blind pursuit of attaining more without making a direct connection to the benefit we hope to reap. But the largest number isn’t always a measure of progress. Is accumulating more followers on social media the best way to grow your business? Can you continue to produce more products with the same sense of integrity? Will you be able to give the additional customers the experience they deserve? Why is this growth strategy right for you?

It’s just as important to be intentional about the reasons we desire growth as it is to grow.
Grow because you must, not because you think you should.

Image by Jamie McCaffrey

Ten Benefits Of Backstorytelling

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

Since the explosive growth of the advertising industry that began on Madison Avenue in the 1920s, marketing has been about creating a story to make people want something. Conventional wisdom dictated that if you wanted to sell more of a thing, you appealed to a customer’s desire to improve his situation in the moment. Then when you needed to sell the next thing you did it again. Marketing became a game of rinse and repeat.

On the way to competing for attention and building brand awareness, companies neglected the opportunity to develop an affinity with their customers. A hundred years on we’re re-discovering the benefits of truthtelling and building deeper relationships with our customers. That journey to prioritising resonance begins by embracing and sharing our backstory.

Embracing And Sharing Our Backstory….

1. Connects us to our purpose and vision for our career or business.

2. Allows us to celebrate our strengths by remembering how we got from there to here.

3. Deepens our understanding of our unique value and what differentiates us in the marketplace.

4. Reinforces our core values.

5. Helps us to act in alignment and make values-based decisions.

6. Encourages us to be responsive to customers instead of being reactive to the marketplace.

7. Attracts customers who want to support businesses that reflect or represent their values.

8. Builds brand loyalty and gives customers a story to tell.

9. Attracts the kind of like-minded employees we want.

10.Helps us to stay motivated and continue to do work we’re proud of.

One of our most effective career and business development resources is hiding in plain sight. History, heritage and hindsight are powerful teachers. But we’re in too much of a hurry to reach higher ground to learn from them. Don’t be so busy trying to get from here to there, that you forget to embrace how you got from there to here. If you want to get better at connecting the dots between your past and your future, start with your backstory. My new book Story Driven shows you how.

Image by Marcel Schewe

Start Setting Your Brand Storytelling Goals

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

We expect brand storytelling to do a lot of heavy lifting for our business. We want our story to engage prospective customers and communicate the value we create. We rely on storytelling to create a sense of belonging and encourage people to believe in our brand. Ultimately we expect that our story will convince and convert people from browsers to buyers and then later compel them to become raving fans. We embark on the storytelling journey with this huge set of expectations often without having clearly defined goals for our story strategy. Where should we begin?

Start by choosing a single, simple outcome that you can test and measure. Begin with that outcome and work backwards.

What’s the story you need to tell if your goal is to encourage people to sign up to receive more information? What message will resonate with existing customers you want to inform about your new product line? What’s the internal narrative of the new customers you’re trying to attract and how will you ensure your story aligns with what they care about?

A story is only as effective as the insight we have about the audience and our intention about where we hope to take them.

Image by Krystal K

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