Sunday, September 24, 2023

Solving the Problem of an Incohesive Brand Narrative

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Esperanza Squire
Esperanza Squire
Esperanza Squire is a Lifestyle journalist with nearly 20 years. While studying journalism at Boston, Esperanza found a passion for finding local stories. As a contributor to Business News Ledger, Esperanza mostly covers human interest pieces.

“So, tell me about yourself.” It’s a question that as individuals almost all of us have been asked from job interviews, to first dates, dinner parties, and all kinds of social interactions. It’s a simple question, but boy is it a big one. Many of us stumble, offering up an anecdote, or maybe some resume tidbits like where we went to school. Few of us lead with a well-crafted, succinct, and compelling answer off-the-cuff. Because the fact is, while it’s a common question, most people have never thought of the answer. But for brands, answering this question is a high stakes proposition. The very success and failure of their business depends on their ability to not only nail the answer, but making it entertaining.

Ryan Kutscher and his team at Circus Maximus have been pondering this challenge, and have earned an international reputation for helping clients respond to this crucial, fundamental question. And by so doing have helped them create organizational clarity, and clear communications that help win new customers, and grow their business. It begins with the fundamental premise that every brand needs a unique and interesting brand narrative. Award winning and witty Circus Maximus has some tips to help you build yours.

What is a Brand Narrative?

Most simply, a ‘brand narrative’ can be defined as “the story of an organization’s purpose, position and identity”: A vision, carefully articulated in a way that makes it compelling to anyone who hears it. At Circus Maximus, Ryan and his team delve into an Eastern Asian philosophy called “Ikigai”, which incorporates one’s sense of purpose into their brand’s marketing. It’s a thought exercise that yields some surprising results.

“Ikigai is about finding that space that’s unique to you, and it’s the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world finds valuable, and what you could be paid for.” Thinking about your brand through the framework of Ikigai is a humanistic way of creating a clear narrative that makes people want to connect with and buy from your company. Understanding your brand’s Ikigai could also be the key to the perfect response to any of the vague questions that prompt you to introduce yourself; those questions are a lot easier when you know who you are and what you are about.

What are you passionate about?

Now that we understand what a brand narrative even is, it’s time to note important aspects to consider when establishing your own brand narrative.

The first consideration is the obvious: “What is your company passionate about doing?While the question seems like brand marketing 101, more brands struggle with the basics than you might think. Circus Maximus knows that clearly defining your company’s passion is step one to developing your brand narrative and subsequently reaching more clients. And notice that it’s framed as an emotion rather than simply a question of “what do you do?”

And by the way, you might have to simplify the message considerably and that’s ok. Whether you are offering world class razors for shaving or revitalizing data computation systems, you and your clients need to understand exactly what drives the company to get out of bed.

What are you good at and is it something the world needs?

So you’ve determined what your company loves doing— its purpose, it’s why, if you will. The next step of building your brand narrative is to determine your what. Ask your marketing content “what do you do” and see if it can answer you in an engaging way. What makes your processes better than those of your cheaper competitors? Why does the world need this? It’s a way of thinking about what you offer the world from the world’s perspective. Your answer to this consideration needs to be a part of your company’s brand, and it also needs to be communicated: clearly, and in multiple ways. This is basically, ‘why should anyone care?’

One of Circus Maximus’ values is “If it isn’t interesting, it doesn’t matter,” and they are true to their word. Consider that the average attention span of an adult is now under 8 seconds. Attention spans are getting exponentially shorter, which means the need to capture attention quickly is getting exponentially more important. Think of your favorite commercials. You probably don’t remember them because they describe every step of their process in excruciating detail. Humans remember stories or content that engages their emotions in some way, and how a product is marketed makes a big difference. Circus Maximus works to create content that matters. “We make content that aligns with your brand narrative while engaging the right customers with the right message at the right time.” They understand their how, and they can help you describe yours too.

Is it valuable?

Finally, to build a brand narrative, you need to frame the value of what you’re offering. Are you helping someone move along in their journey? Solving a real problem? Knowing the value you offer helps communicate your story in a way that will resonate with them. Brand narratives must engage their audience in a way that feels connected and understood. Ryan Kutscher and his team know that it’s important to consider “how this adds value to the world,” and work from there. Knowing who your audience is, and what’s important to them is the key to reaching them.

So, tell me about yourself

The next time you are faced with this situation, pause and think of your brand’s purpose. According to the pros at Circus Maximus, “Your brand needs to have a clear understanding of what gets it out of bed every morning, what they do, how they do it, and whom they do it for.” From there, Circus Maximus can create a marketing platform that’s interesting, that matters, and that changes the game for your brand narrative.

Contact Circus Maximus to create a brand narrative that tells your audience everything it needs to know.

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