This is one of those topics in which EVERYONE...and EVERYONE IN MARKETING has an opinion. And, just about everyone is correct because there are a lot of ways to approach branding. But, there are some universal truths which is why we are smashing branding and story-telling together this week. Some people say that story-telling IS the brand and the only way to brand. Others say that the brand IS the story. It's not that the egg comes before the chicken or the chicken is before the egg...it is that the chicken and the egg really are the same species. As with all things in the speed of this world...it's a complicated mess. Unpacking it is easiest if we think of it as an ACTIVE PROCESS and just get into it...hence, the photo we chose. Tough to get more active than her determined look to get where she needs to go.
Branding and story-telling week!!! We wanted to share some big picture sections of this for two reasons. First, we want to help you see and understand parts of the larger process. And, second, by breaking this down a little but not to the micro-task level, you can examine and assess where you are at in the process. We are very big proponents of assess, improve, assess the improvements, adjust, refine, and so on for continuous improvement. It is really hard to do that if you don't have a way to take stock and make some sense out of the chaos.
That leads us to a starting foundation: Branding work need not be chaos! Let's start "simple"...take stock of your assets and collateral materials: Logo, graphic, images, font, colors, taglines, common language, hashtags, keywords, SEO identifiers, print materials, description paragraphs, etc....the list can be long. THEN, you can organize this into categories. What "goes together" and what begins to be a package that points in the direction of a CONSISTENT package that you can use. CONSISTENCY is the first thing we want to focus on and then begin to grab ATTENTION while further PRACTICING that consistency. Then it is easy to add, develop, and enhance that collateral for deeper use. From that foundation of BRAND CONSISTENCY, you can move to BRAND AWARENESS work, BRAND INTEREST work, BRAND DESIRE work, and BRAND ACTION work. Finally, if you plan a continuing and evolving BRAND CONNECTION structure, you strengthen all of the pieces and parts while working your system. In essence, you are adding grease to the part needed for a smooth running brand "engine". (You can tell....we are not "car and mechanic" language people. We probably should stick to architecture analogies.)
We like to share in our journey in order to provide an example in practice. Branding is a big task...and damn, it is fun. There are so many options and opportunities, so it can be overwhelming. We also have numerous ideas and that can lead to "squirrel adventures" and and habitats like "rabbit holes" (now we move on to ecology analogies). So, we have to practice coming back to these principles ourselves. When we started Lioness Creative, it was an adventure in agility and now, we are narrowing that and solidifying the strongest niches and building structures for growth in those areas. This is like ALL businesses and nonprofits. And, it is the adventure of the branding process. For us, it had to begin with the "taking stock" process we are urging you to do...and then establishing things we can be consistent with. And, for us, it began with consistent creation and sharing on Facebook. Daily posts for 6 days a week was the goal. Now we are structuring what that looks like and designing the weekly themes with more intention to fit the niches we want to grow. We also are working on how other platforms can "fit into" that consistency. Simultaneously, we are refining that package of collateral. We have our logo, colors, preferred fonts, images....and many of the things. We are working on consistent and simple language. We challenge you to focus on this area as well. Most companies/organizations need the most help in this arena as we want to use more words rather than less....BUT our attention spans are about less rather than more. In a world that craves simplicity, WE ALL CAN IMPROVE THIS AREA.
SO....THIS is our focus through the week on our social platforms. We want to discuss branding and story-telling...and we will hit on each of the branding areas we mentioned.
CALL TO ACTION: We so believe in setting you on the path to ACT, so your next step to focus on is the big takeaway. The most important take away THIS MOMENT is to take stock and find a way to begin attention getting + consistency. And, then come along for the ride. (Oh, shoot...another car reference....[sigh]....let's go with "walk alongside and enjoy the stroll".)