We’ve been around them forever. Ever since we’ve come into this world, stories are all around us. They are what keeps us up at night and what makes us remember a time and a place. We can’t deny it – we all love a good story.
When Steve Jobs delivered the Stanford Commencement address, he kicked it off by saying he wanted to share three stories from his life. No corporate spins, no long drawn out speech, just three stories.
He was able to deliver his address with both poise and grace because he was living Apple’s and his personal values every single day. A brand is only as strong as its values. In today’s marketplace, a brand requires clearly defined values that are important to you, your employees, customers and potential customers, and that differentiate you from your competitors.
Clearly understanding these company values will help ensure that they are communicated through ‘everything you say and everything you do’. In other words, the value of a brand comes through recognition, and recognition comes through consistent application of every visible manifestation of your brand, at every touch point and every single day.
Have you ever been around someone who shares a story to different people but there is always something tweaked or exaggerated every time they share? Nobody likes a story flip-flopper and the same goes for your brand story. A consistent and well-told story is important for how people will receive and perceive your brand.
Why you may ask? Well, consistency improves audience recall of your company and makes sure that they have the same or similar ‘experience’ whether visiting your Facebook page, seeing a newspaper ad, or speaking with the sales manager face-to-face. People like to interact with familiar, well-liked and socially responsible brands. Keeping your brand story consistent allows people to be reassured of your values instead of re-introduced every time they see or hear about your brand.
A good example of consistent branding is a well-known restaurant in Moncton, in fact, all over Canada, and some in the United States. When you choose to dine at the Keg you expect, and (generally) receive, a premium experience, no matter what location you visit. Quality customer service, great food, dim lights, relaxed, premium atmosphere, the table setting, the signage, the logo, TV advertisement – it’s all consistent, and it makes you feel like the Keg experience is memorable, meaningful, and trustworthy. The Keg allows people to more form a sort of emotional relationship with the brand and the experience, which lead to long-term, loyal customers and therefore a better opportunity to operate a successful, sustainable business.
Not all brands and business models can be like The Keg, but all brands need to be as consistent as The Keg. There is an abundance of touch points available to businesses today and consistently communicating your brand story across all of these touch points will ultimately allow people to recall and recognize your brand better, and will begin to strengthen the trust between with you and them.
If ever you find yourself questioning whether your brand and its story is well-defined and consistent, at Portfolio we pride ourselves on being brand story specialists and strategists. We can help you ensure that wherever your customers or clients find you, you’re telling your best story.