4 min read
Image credit: The American Genius
Adele's HELLO phenomenon, got me thinking about how it can also apply to BRANDING. Think about it...when you first introduce yourself or when a brand is launched, I think we all can agree that it starts with a simple Hello. Depending on the individual or corporate personalities, the size of the marketing budget and the intensity of the marketing approach (conservative or aggressive), it will determine how loud that "Hello" can be. Some will go with a quieter Hello, while others can't wait to scream from the top of the building by saying, "Hello World! I'm here!!". Some will choose selected marketing channels to begin with, while others will go all out activating the multi-channels for the big bang. Which ever route you take, yes it starts with a simple Hello. It lays the foundation, the first impression and sets the stage of what is to come.
I use "you", "your brand", "the brand" and "our brand" in this post interchangeably, which essentially mean the same thing, the brand. Here's my take on Hello...
Hello. Who are you?
Adele will say: "It's me" (it's the lyric to her Hello song by the way, for those who don't know). But she does not need any introduction does she? Perhaps at some point at the beginning of her career she did. As for the rest of us, you, me and dupree...who are we exactly? What is our brand identity. What do we stand for? What are our core values? When we speak, what is our tone and personality? Do we come across as confident or cocky? Fun or drudgery? Understanding or indifferent? Those my friends, determine a large part of the brand identity.
I am ABC...
First, start with introducing who you are. Support your introduction with a unique logo using font, colours, structures and guidelines that define your brand. Then, strengthen it with a great brand manifesto, or what we used to call its dull, boring, preachy and long-winded cousin, " the mission statement". Brand manifesto is above and beyond "that boring statement", it is a system of beliefs to produce culture-changing artifacts that are transforming how employees, followers and customers perceive brands. A great brand manifesto has at least, these 3 key elements:
1. It's tribal: It makes you feel like you're a member and apart of a community.
2. It's real and transparent: No fluff. Just a straightforward, I care for you and this is how we roll.
3. It's human: An understanding, humble and committed friend who is here for the long-run.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you have to verbalize your entire brand manifesto to everyone at your first Hello, you might run the risk of talking too much and turning people away. Ultimately, the lesson here is to embody it - live, breathe and practice it. Be authentic, remain true to your brand and its core values. Let your brand manifesto be your guiding light.
I am in the busines of XYZ....
OK.. you've established who you are. Now, tell them what you do. This is where you flex your 30-second elevator pitch. What is this "30-second pitch"? In my first blog, I touched briefly on the topic of networking. What it means, it is a carefully crafted statement consisting of What do you do? Where do you want to go, or what are you looking for? You need to know exactly what you want to achieve. Tell a story. Eliminate the jargons. Dumb it down. Simplify your explanation and leave them wanting more.
I am making a difference...
Next, get personal, connect with them at a level that is relevant and tell them how you can help them in their lives or their community. Tell them how you will make a difference. This last bit, not only will potentially leave them wanting more, but will make them feel inspired by your purpose.
So now, go out there and say "HELLO, I am...." confidently, and tell the world about your brand!
Cue queen Adele: Watch her music video.
Taken from her Adele 25 album, HELLO is a powerful song.
As a brand, she embodies the image and the genre of the music that she sings. Even with a 3-year hiatus, she had created such an impact that her fans remained loyal and come to expect the same Adele if not better. She remained authentic, true to her brand and she exceeded our expectations with her comeback! She has managed to transcend the age groups, men and women alike, strike a chord and tug our hearts with her lyrical and vocal prowess. #IheartAdele
This is Part 1 to BRANDING, the introduction. Read part 2 on activation here.
Need help with your brand manifesto? Contact me through the blue form below!
M Consulting, the branding and marketing strategy development and activation consultancy was founded by Mawarni Adam, an award winning marketer with over 13 years of experience in branding and integrated marketing across multiple industries in the ASEAN region. It is her passion in building, revamping, turning around a portfolio, leading change and breathing new life into stagnant business situations that propelled her to establish her own marketing consultancy. Helping others make a positive difference in their businesses excites her. Her direct experience in the Subscription Video-On-Demand, Airline, Insurance, Loyalty, E-commerce, Banking, Venture Capital and Advertising industries, will bring an integrated perspective and valuable marketing input, strategy development and execution to any organization.
Read more about Mawarni here: About M