With over 6,400 books written on branding, the subject has gotten complex. Yet simplicity is where the power exists. This video was conceived, written and narrated by award-winning designer, branding specialist and Fast Company blogger David Brier to distill branding down to its basics answering that basic question “What is branding?” Written simply with equally minimalistic motion graphics, this video unveils the magic, the spark and the simplicity that is branding in its most fundamental form.
I was reading Seth Godin’s blog post this morning and it profoundly hit the nail on the head. Here’s what he said,
It seems arrogant to say, “perhaps this isn’t for you.”
When the critic pans your work, or the prospect hears your offer but doesn’t buy, the artist responds, “that’s okay, it’s not for you.” She doesn’t wheedle or flip-flop or go into high pressure mode. She treats different people differently, understands that she is working to delight the weird, not please the masses, and walks away.
Isn’t that arrogant?
No. It’s arrogant to assume that you’ve made something so extraordinary that everyone everywhere should embrace it. Our best work can’t possibly appeal to the average masses, only our average work can.
Finding the humility to happily walk away from those that don’t get it unlocks our ability to do great work.
Knowing who you are and where you are going is branding. That is the brand, whether the brand is you, a product or service. Being confident in allowing your brand to be itself is not arrogant…it is strategic. We must be artists, creators, innovators; we are all original.
I asked a client (singer/songwriter) the other day in a session, “Who was Michael Jackson like?” “What about Prince? Or Miles Davis?” The answer, obviously was no one. They were confident in being themselves and they created forms of music that no one before them had created. We don’t really consider musicians who followed in their footsteps to be legends. Being legendary requires being unique, different. It required these artists to be themselves, not attempting to please everyone, but pushing to have personal integrity and originality in their work.
No one can be you. There is no competition to you. When you choose to be yourself and stay focused on a clear path, you don’t really compete with anyone. You now have something unique. Now all you have to do is market, effectively tell your story to a specific demographic. Branding and marketing…defining who you are, where you are going, and sharing that story effectively.
I was perusing the interweb doing some reading on storytelling and came across this fantastic article by Jonah Sachs, CEO of branding agency Free Range Studios, and author of Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future. Jonah clearly explains to basic fundamentals of the importance and (possibly more important) process of good storytelling. Once brands (individuals, products or organizations) recognize the importance of telling a story to their audience, they can begin to develop the skills to do so effectively. Enjoy.
As the media landscape continues to evolve, audiences are gaining more and more control over the information they view and share. To remain relevant, brands need to know how to tell compelling stories to reach them.
Traditional messages in the old broadcast style — exalt your product and tell your audiences why they need it now — are at best overlooked and forgotten; at worst, ridiculed. But successful stories, such as Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, can garner 150m YouTube views in a couple of months and supercharge brand awareness and loyalty — without talking about the product at all. This is what success looks like for brands that shift from broadcast messaging to storytelling.
The transformation begins by realizing that your brand is nothing more than an ongoing story–a set of meaningful emotional experiences unfolding between itself and your audiences. Just like stories, brands can be inspiring, clear and actionable, or self-important, bland and confusing. The inspiring ones light up social networks, passing virally from storyteller to storyteller. The others instantly disappear.
Here are four simple steps that will help your brand become effective at storytelling.
The viral music video of the moment is right here.
The question for the marketer, music or otherwise, isn’t, “what are the hooks and tricks I use to go viral?” No, the question is, “is it worth it?”
What does the fox say has the hooks and tricks in abundance. It has Archie McPhee animal costumes, nonsense words, just the right sort of production values, superfluous subtitles, appropriate silliness. It would probably help the cause to add spurious nudity, but give them points for getting the rest of it right.
To what end?
If your work goes viral, if it gets seen by tens of millions of people, sure you can profit from that. But most of the time, it won’t. Most of the time, you’ll aim to delight the masses and you’ll fail.
I’m glad that some people are busy trying to entertain us in a silly way now and then. But it doesn’t have to be you doing the entertaining–the odds are stacked against you.
So much easier to aim for the smallest possible audience, not the largest, to build long-term value among a trusted, delighted tribe, to create work that matters and stands the test of time.
“Baby bump bump bay dum.”
Twice a year I have the privilege to speak to a group of students pursuing the art of Wedding Coordination. My wife teaches the certification course at Cal Poly Pomona and invites me to speak to them about branding, marketing and design.
It’s always an engaging conversation which usually lends itself to an extended time of Q&A. Here’s a bit of what I share…
1. Your Brand is You…knowing who you are is the foundation of building your brand
2. What is Your Art?…being clear about what it is you make; what you provide
3. Setting Your Destination…knowing where you are going defines your vision and mission
4. Telling Your Story…effectively communicating who you are, where you’re going and what you do to those who you wish to partner with
5. The Icing on the Cake…implementing design to support your story and create a positive first impression
6. Time to Knock on Doors…thinking through strategic marketing via social media, tradition collateral and beyond
My hope is that, though this is fairly brief, it would give some direction to Wedding Planners or anyone else with an idea and a willingness to connect that idea to society.
I was reading Seth Godin’s blog this morning and this stood out to me:
When you sell unlimited hope…
then all news is bad news. That’s because news is fact, what happened, not hope, and the truth can’t possibly be as good as the hope was.
The problem with marketing promises that spin out of control, that pile expectations on top of dreams, is that when reality appears, when the quarterly numbers or the new policies or the final product arrives, it will inevitably disappoint.
This is the challenge of the Kickstarter artist, the growth stock CEO and the well-published author. Dreams are irresistible, but they will never match reality when it finally appears.
The desire to promise the world is nearly uncontrollable sometimes. If you do this then everything will be alright. If you follow me, then life will be better. If you buy my new CD, it will change you forever.
Chances are, even if they are beneficial, they will not meet the expectations put on them. The old proverb says, “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up again.” We get better though the journey, through mistakes and through failures.
Next time you’re selling something, consider whether your product is promising the world or supporting the journey. And consider which one will benefit your customer for the long haul. Which one will bring them back over the years?
Frustrated by stupid client criticism, Irish graphic designers Mark Shanley and Paddy Treacy decided to turn their “favorite worst feedback” into posters. The guys worked together on so-called “Sharp Suits” series with a team of other ad creatives, designers, animators, directors, illustrators and more, who must’ve all appreciated a chance to let out some of their exasperation in a creative way.
The series was exhibited at The Little Green Café, Bar and Gallery in November, giving a chance to purchase an A3 poster of your choice. The guys, however, received so many orders during a 5 day exhibition, that they’ve already stopped accepting them. All the thousands of euros they claim to have raised were donated to the Temple Street Children Hospital.
To see the rest, visit SharpSuits.net
Sure, you know about content marketing—but do you really know about content marketing? I found this great list at Zemanta this morning. Clients always think creating content is a no-brainer, but you need to be strategic and consider a few things.
Do you think content marketing is the same as blogging, for example? (It’s not.) Does launching a content marketing strategy seem either too easy or too hard? (It shouldn’t.) The truth is, most companies today are still a little fuzzy on what exactly content marketing means.
So to help you clarify your understanding, here’s a look at four of the most common content marketing misunderstandings!
1. Content Marketing = Blogging
2. Creating Content Is Easy—We’ll Just Throw Something Together
3. Creating Content Is Hard—We Have Nothing to Say
4. Content Marketing Means Losing Money
I read a great article from Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, who says science backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message. Here’s a snippet of the article.
In business, storytelling is all the rage. Without a compelling story, we are told, our product, idea, or personal brand, is dead on arrival. In his book,Tell to Win, Peter Guber joins writers like Annette Simmons and Stephen Denning in evangelizing for the power of story in human affairs generally, and business in particular. Guber argues that humans simply aren’t moved to action by “data dumps,” dense PowerPoint slides, or spreadsheets packed with figures. People are moved by emotion. The best way to emotionally connect other people to our agenda begins with “Once upon a time…”
Until recently we’ve only been able to speculate about the story’s persuasive effects. But over the last several decades psychology has begun a serious study of how the story affects the human mind. Results repeatedly show that our attitudes, fears, hopes, and values are strongly influenced by the story. In fact, fiction seems to be more effective in changing beliefs than writing that is specifically designed to persuade through argument and evidence.
Read the entire story: WHY STORYTELLING IS THE ULTIMATE WEAPON by Jonathan Gottschall