We all have a brand whether we know it or not…if you don't believe me then forget companies and just think of people you know…..you have an opinion about them, what they stand for, what they represent, who they are…
So in some ways building a brand is just plain wrong. Brands are built through the perceptions of others and in a social world you could argue that you no longer control the brand…..
Control is a strange word. Control is often misunderstood by both people and businesses…just look at the dictionary definition
Control: noun "the power to influence or direct people's behavior or the course of events"
Influence or direct…interesting because those words do not indicate 100% determining each decision. It infers that people follow because they want to, they believe and trust in you, they have built up enough respect that they are influenced by you.
Now social media has a huge role to play in the direction and influencing of people's perceptions. It is not what you are telling, it is what you are portraying on the web.
Do you look as though you connect with my problems?
Do you look as though you speak like me?
Do you listen and value me?
The list goes on…..
Little Bob's graphic shows that in order to grow followers you need to create something worth following. Obvious I know however when I am working with business, this is not always clear….actually it is usually NOT clear. Indeed at a recent speaking event, many small business owners were still focused on thinking that they supplied x, rather than the why and how…
Well, that means that you will probably fall into the commodity trap. People will judge whether to buy based on price because you are not giving them anything to buy into…..and as an aside content marketing becomes incredibly hard – there are only so many ways you can descibe products!
So 2 quick ways of establishing clarity for your personal or corporate brand is to ask these questions
- What are we challenging? What is the norm and how are we challenging that norm?
- How are we challenging the direction of business – think Zipcar, think McDonalds when it first appeared, think the walkman….
Once you know why you are different, then creating content becomes easier…choosing people who will embrace that culture becomes more straightforward…and the stories you tell to influence purchasing behavior becomes a doddle (Well, easier then!!)