Today I was reading a post in a Facebook group about what business owners are most worried about when it comes to choosing a brand consultant or brand designer to work on their brand.
Cost, predictably, was an important concern. But it surprised me to read that the majority of people were worried that the person they hired wouldn't 'get' them or bother to find out enough about their business, industry or audiences to create something that truly reflected them.
It surprised me even more to read how many people had been burned by more than one branding expert in their quest to build a brand for their business.
One of the most important aspects of building a successful brand is authenticity. Your brand should be a true reflection of you and your vision for your business. Anything contrived will stand out a mile to your audience because consistently maintaining contrived communications is hard.
The best brands are rarely one-of-a-kind businesses, but they're unique because they have been built upon a unique approach, mindset and personal journey.
During the building of my own brand, it was easy to reach the conclusion that one of my own core values is listening. Sometimes I think that sounds a bit clumsy as a value and I can't think of a better way to say it but nonetheless, it's a vital part of what I do and how I help clients to create brand stories that really feel like them and that motivate and excite them to get out and talk about their businesses.
There's a reason my website states up front that 'my mission is to listen hard and ‘get’ the essence of you' and that is because your brand story is never going to be my interpretation of you. If we work together, expect me to do a whole lot of scribbling as we speak, because if I've done my job correctly, everything that makes up your brand communications is going to come from you; my job is just to dig out the right information and help you articulate it in a way that feels and sounds like you.
So if you're currently working with a brand storyteller or a brand designer and you're not sure you're being heard, pause the process and clarify how that can be rectified before you go any further so you can build the brand your business deserves.