Corporates that only talk to themselves remain isolated brands ignoring the reality that it is what the customer thinks that really matters.
Building an authentic brand story is the key to success.
When children are young their imagination is untainted. Anything is possible in the glass jar in which they sit. A child’s awareness of the world around them is built moment by moment. Each image tells a different story and their capacity to believe this stories and reinforce them as ‘truth’ is fascinating. This is their reality.
Brands and companies are the same. Childlike in many ways they develop stories and images to support their ‘truth’. This ‘truth’ is driven by a need to sell the products and the services. The brand stories the companies tell themselves are not always based on ‘reality’, or on the needs of their stakeholders they are based on ‘the company reality’.
As children get older they come out of the glass jar. Their experience of the world and what happens in it expands their understanding of what ‘truth’ is and what it is not. They start to listen and pay attention to what other people say. They start to value what their ‘influencers’ think and it shapes their view and the way they communicate. They respond to the realities of the world the world and plot their course to deal with it. They develop their own brand and identity.
Many companies fail to recognise this reality and the interaction required with the world outside their glass jar. They drive themselves to the point of insanity by repeating the same uninformed negative cycle. While building products and services for ‘people’ and the ‘world’ they get caught inside their own story and narrative. They sit in their glass jar believing their own narrative. They believe what they ‘say’ is the truth and forget what matters is what the customer thinks.
This is the trap and the reason that most communications strategies fail. Engineers and technocrats drive the vision without listening or paying attention to the outside world and the realities. Market research to test the needs and wants of the customer is ignored. Products are pushed at the market with no narrative or connecting points.
Establishing a company or brand narrative is not about the product. It is about understanding what the customer wants. Messaging is about understanding what they hear and what will resonate with them. To be successful it is what your customer thinks that matters.