Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Who Will Champion Your Story, and Bring Your Brand to Life?

I see it all too often. A product, service or customer experience fails to resonate with buyers and therefore Marketing is left spinning their wheels trying to bridge the relevance gap with messaging and positioning. This is the traditional way we’ve always done it. But it’s not very effective anymore.

Everything a business says and does nowadays is dictated by the consumer, but it is frustrating the glut of entrepreneurs we now have flooding the marketplace looking to strike it rich with their dream concepts or inventions.

Shows like CNBC’s ‘Shark Tank’ cater to them. One after the other, vying desperately to find funding and validation for what they believe the buyer needs and wants. But only those who are realistic and relevant prosper.

This is not a problem exclusive to entrepreneurs however. Corporations alike suffer from being self-centric and not customer-centric. Honestly, I love branding and storytelling, but what I love even more is when I see employees who connect with the story and bring it to life throughout the customer experience the way Walt Disney did back in the day, and the way Apple does today. It’s believable. It’s authentic, and it remains all about the customer and the customer's experience.

Yes this means more training, organizational change, investing more internally to maximize employee engagement and empowerment. But it’s worth the investment. Otherwise, your company culture crumbles and your message loses credibility. Your brand becomes irrelevant and gets tossed around every agency in one last ditch attempt to resurrect it with a veneer of creative window dressing that won’t hold up amidst the scrutiny and transparency of social media and today’s digital landscape.

Throughout the buying process, it’s the emotional buy-in of your customer that qualifies your content, uncovers a winning story and produces effective messaging, not the other way around. Success is cultivated from the inside-out.