Shifting focus to the customer

We come across many different forms of brand strategy in the work we do with clients. We’ve seen brand pyramids, brand matrices, brand promises, and brand stories. The result of these brand strategies is a focus on what the brand does for the audience. They may state things like “We provide the…” or “We inspire more….” WE, WE, WE. Most do contain some form of audience insight but fail to tap into a more powerful shared experience.

Building a compelling brand

A disruptive, strong, growth-oriented brand results because the customers of the brand make it so. It is not the brand’s words that create the success. It is the customers relationship, loyalty and love of the brand that allows the brand to exist. This makes me wonder why more marketers don’t obsess over their audiences and customers.

Why is audience obsession important?

Because all the product features in the world don’t mean a thing if the customer doesn’t realize the value the product provides for them. So, every company needs to become intimate with what drives their customers. And then speak directly to the shared values between the two groups.

We’ve learned about the role of customer insights during our discovery phase. We’ve seen the value of finding what matters most to our client’s customers. We’ve condensed these findings into a Brand Story.

When we develop the Brand Story it’s not a quick meeting. It takes time because we’re defining what will become the “Truth” for our client. We need to absorb everything we learn and get the brand right. Not just in messaging and imaging, but as a foundation for how the organization lives and presents itself at every level.

Relationship over disruption

When our client digests the audience insights & shared values from discovery, we start identifying opportunities for audience-based disruption. For a genuine relationship. This is important. While disruption has been a buzzword for a while, it can’t just be disruption for disruption’s sake. At Shinebox we’ve made a business out of finding audience-based disruption. This means that what and why we’re doing something will resonate directly with our client’s customers in an entirely new and meaningful way.

It can’t just be disruption for disruption’s sake.

Building a better strategy brief.

The end result of a Shinebox Brand Story Brief is something you could hand to your barber or barista to read and they would be able to know what a brand is about. It can’t be a long report, but a straightforward 1-to-2-page summation that serves as the compass for the rest of the brand identity.

  • There’s no fluff, no alteration, no catchy phrases – just strategy, honesty and clarity.
  • The “Truth”- the point of being beyond interpretation.
  • The Brand Story leads to the Brand Platform, or what we like to refer to as the funfest version of the brand story. The Brand Story gives us the skeleton – now we get to put skin on it. More about that in my next post.
  • Is your brand truly loved by your customers? If we build this relationship like we build others in our life, then the answer should be heart-felt!

Explore more

This is part two of a four-part series on building brands and the Shinebox Disruption methodology. We will explore how audiences and their values become a catalyst for disruption. And how disruption can build brands that build business winners.