governance grows greatness
what do you see that others haven’t?
You know about stating the obvious. That's actually kind of what we just did there. That's exactly what we would hope you try not to do the majority of the time you spend speaking. Why, you say? Why not speak only in statements of obvious fact and rhetorical questions? Because it's really valuable to See What Other Don't. Gary Klein even wrote a book about that very subject and why some people have 20/20 vision in a world of people with metaphorical cataracts. Think outside the box as we move forward. The stage has been set.
In case you missed the Why and Who blog last week, definitely tune into that before proceeding any further. If you haven’t walked yourself or your team through all of those thought exercises and gone down all of those proverbial rabbit holes, those are critical to think through before going onto What. You’ve probably thought a lot about what, but maybe not with the right lenses on. Pick up your glasses.
What do you say to tell people what you do?
It’s pretty crazy from the perspective of people who communicate for a living that other people are unsure of how to tell people about what it is that they actually do. We understand analysis paralysis – continually doing market research and getting the pulse on where your strategic differentiators and unique opportunities lie. But actually not understanding how to pitch your business (from a branding perspective) is mind-boggling. This could possibly be the Most Important Thing after finding your Why and Who. Let us help with that.
What does all of this have to do with branding?
It is not unusual that our clients find full clarity about their work and how it’s organized in the Branding Process. In order to effectively brand and market something, you have to arrive at the most distilled version of that idea (your Big Idea) possible. The thought exercises needed to understand your work at a molecular level often haven’t happened until the branding process. We break out the Branding Barbells, as it were.
Enter the concept of governance. You have your Why. You know Who you are. Once you understand what it is that you actually do, you are finally able to think about governing your brand’s identity because you actually understand what that identity is. In order to exact governance, you have to know the parameters and the desired behavior. In this case, when governing your brand, knowing your What is imperative. Then you know when something doesn’t jive with your branding, is off-color in your scheme, instead of endlessly questioning and randomly transmitting content that sometimes hits the target, but other times isn't even in the same zip code as your Brand HQ.
Think outside the box and then nail it all down. We’re big on clarity. Get you some. What you do should be placed in the context of your current state and future goals. It should be whittled down to its smallest intelligible state and then inflated back into marketable material. We’ll address exactly how this what is turned into something shareable in the next point: How.
How do you share What you do?
Assuming you've made it past the [critical, integral, vital] steps of Why and Who and What, it's now time to move into How which leads us to Jonah Berger's STEPPS. The way (how) you share your brand (your mission, vision, values, and products duh) is really what determines whether anything you say or do ever really sticks.
Governance in this step is critical to creating brand clarity. As we’ve pointed out before, brand strength develops over time. Time builds a brand and that time should be managed meticulously. Keep all the steps and STEPPS in mind whenever you're thinking about how you're sharing your brand. If the goal is traction and retention, then you've got to get sticky. Get sticky to get stuck.
How do you make sure it’s pitch-perfect all the time?
Clarity on What simplifies the How tremendously. Now you can focus on your audience/market/following. What’s likable to Your People? This will require some research and some experimentation. Try some things and watch the numbers. The initial phase of sharing your brand is one of testing and retesting. Things will flop. Maybe you’ll get lucky and go Viral. Then you make all those moments Teachable Moments. You may find that Your People are different people than you initially thought. This will affect your How. Over time, you may find your content, services, and products are of interest to a particular group or industry. Constantly evaluate whether your How matches up with Your People. Course correct. Carry on.
How do you actually pull it off?
Whenever we start working with a branding and content strategy client, we talk about their Dream Client/Customer/Follower/Brand Believer. We want to get examples. Put a face to your market. Make them real to you and to us. Then when you’re determining what marketing content you’re going to pump into their feeds. Truly valuable content is useful to your audience right then and there. This is what creates brand loyalty from a communication perspective - constantly, unerringly providing value to your following. Create a persona for your Perfect Market Member and tailor your content to touch that person(a) in a real, meaningful way every time. Be flexible, permeable to new ideas, but true to your[Brand]self.
Don’t forget – this week we’re talking about Governance and Growing Greatness. As a business, you must constantly govern How you are communicating your brand. We create detailed content strategies to provide a roadmap for your brand communication. With a content strategy in hand, you are able to easily determine whether or not your content is actually following your Best Laid Plan (of Mice and Men). Clarity on the direction and consistency in sticking to the course are the chief cornerstones of governing your brand communication. Ensuring these cornerstones are maintained is the key to fostering brand loyalty over time. And that’s every brander’s goal for your brand – Brand Permanence. A win for everyone.
Tune in next week to talk more about When and Where to wrap up our September Series.