The Brand Story. Set the Stage
The First Stage for Growth: Your Brand Story
At NuSpark Consulting, to begin our discovery sessions, we like to start with a Brand Story exercise. The Brand Story sets the stage for your future marketing and messaging strategies. It also gives us clues to whether we make changes to your website based on the results of the story.
- Create a Brand Story that captivates, inspires, and moves people in a memorable way — one that can be owned in the markets in which you operate.
- Move your organization beyond a generic value proposition to reinforce the deeper values and satisfactions of your customers’ experience
- Align all marketing collateral (beginning with the website) to the new Brand Story with a razor-sharp focus. We like to say that brand voices are like choirs not soloists – many voices but a single, powerful story.
- Articulate a commonly accepted “elevator pitch” about the brand, your company, and your services.
Value to your firm
- A strong brand is an asset that gains credibility and value over time. It is irreplaceable. If nurtured properly, it can live and grow forever. Better yet, the strongest brands can often charge a premium to the market.
- A single-minded and consistent brand will help expand marketplace awareness and growth possibilities.
- An agreed sense and expression of the brand architecture, positioning, and copy stance create a common language that creates consistency across all selling efforts: traditional, online, and even in-person.
- Sets a clear guide for developing and revising all selling and marketing materials, offers, website, events, and digital media.
BRAND STORY SESSION
Brand Story Audit
The audit is a qualitative survey to surface top-of-mind and deeper brand perceptions, associations, qualities, uniqueness, first memories, what the brand is best at, etc.
- Review past and present marketing materials: website, marketing communications, collateral, direct mail, digital media (emails, social media), news coverage – to identify what works, what doesn’t, and what might be improved.
- Conduct Competitive Perception Analysis based on publicly available messaging (web, ads, social media) of key competitors.
- Conduct a brand “gap” analysis – positioning and appeal opportunities not exploited in the marketplace.
The WHAT, HOW, and most importantly, WHY of your Brand
When these three pieces are aligned, it gives your customers a filter through which to make decisions. It provides a foundation for innovation and for building trust with customers. When all three pieces are in balance, others will say, with absolute clarity and certainty, “We know who you are,” “We know what you stand for.”
- This includes eliciting “Proof Stories” (testimonials, customer experience, trade reaction, sales dept. intelligence) that support your core Brand Story in the real world and have the potential to deliver FRESH LANGUAGE that no one else in the industry is using.
- Marketing Communications Exploration (to guide our thinking as to how your Brand Story will “live” in every customer touchpoint)
- Marketing and Sales Goals: Near and longer term #s, Industry dynamics and trends, Internal and external obstacles and opportunities
- Target “Personas” that briefly trace their journey to purchase decision
- Determine how customers acquire information for purchase
- Outline the elements of their purchasing decision (and the role of any purchase influencers)
- Identify the key narrative turning point(s) where customers need what you have to offer
Identify commonly-held needs and desires among your key customers
- Desired Action you want the target to take . . . instead of what they currently do
Barriers to the Desired Action
- Reward or Experience the brand promises, which is bigger than product/service features and benefits
- Reward Support (reasons to believe the brand’s experience will be delivered: features, benefits, reasons to believe)
- Best Channels of Communication: traditional, digital, trade, DM, PR, word of mouth, etc.
BRAND STORY REPORT
Following the session, we will compile a Brand Story Report that summarizes our findings from the session.
The report will include language for your Brand Story that can immediately be used in all Marketing Communications collateral. The report will also include a Marketing Communications Guide that will direct key next steps in how we continue to develop real-world stories that tie back to the core Brand Story – and share them with key audiences to build customer relationships at every touchpoint.