5 Questions to Expect From Us When We Partner on Your Brand’s Strategy
The first time I read RLS’s Treasure Island, I was in love. I’m not sure how many middle school girls really love that book, but I did. I read it twice that year – once for school, once for fun.
Treasure Island is your old-school, classic chalk-full of buried gold, black spots, one-legged pirates with parrots. It’s also chalk-full of personality and adventure which – as I’ve grown up – I’ve come to truly appreciate. Both personality and adventure are hard to come by as an adult both personally and professionally. When you experience both though? Magic.
I consciously go into any brand strategy and any client’s looking for two things – personality and adventure.
With that noted, I’ll just go ahead and say this – if you’re boring, this won’t work; if you’re not game to explore, this won’t work; if you’re not willing to fuck things up and then fix them so we can find what really works, this won’t work. That’s just the way this toth shop game goes. personality and adventure. That’s it, really.
With that said, I try to figure out where you are on both/either of those spectrum pretty quickly. There are five things I’ll work through in my brain as we’re chatting; and I might just flat-out ask.
What are you listening to or reading? Walking into your office and hearing you blast ‘You Oughta Know’ off ‘Jagged Little Pill’ is a lot different than walking into your office and hearing you blast that Justin Timberlake ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’ from the Trolls soundtrack. Same as looking at your bookshelves or asking what you’re reading – you reading a slew of ‘why am I here?’ books is a lot different than you reading the ‘how to make it happen’ books.
I’ll just say it – at either point – I’m looking for an indication in your choices (music, books, time spend, etc.) as to how you’re feeling right now. That’ll determine how we go forward from here.
What’s working – what’s not working? If you can answer this question – awesome; if you can’t – why the hell not? This isn’t as much a question about what’s working or not working when it comes to your branding, copy, social media, marketing, PR, whatever – it’s really a question as to whether you give a shit or not. It’s more fun and more of an adventure if you’ve thought it through and then we can hash it out together.
What do you really, truly care about? If you’re going to tell us that you care about the numbers, then, I mean, okay. A lot of people miss the boat when they tell me they care about these things we can easily buy. Really simple example: You’re worried about the fact that you have a low follower count; sure, you can buy followers, and boost that number in less than a minute.
But you should really care about the engagement, the lead potential, the brand as it currently exists out there.
When all is said and done, I want you to care about a couple of things: the content you’re sharing to your audience, the strategy by which you engage them, and the way in which you use both to generate interest, leads, sales, engagement.
If you’re just worried about that one number of followers – or whatever that number is for you and your business – you’re selling yourself short and you’re not building something sustainable that allows you to show your personality or your brand’s personality.
What’s the goal? You don’t need the final goal outlined and diagrammed when we walk in the door; in fact, it’s more fun if we can do that together. I just need to see a general idea as to what you need this brand strategy to accomplish OR – better yet – what you want your audience to feel or experience because of it. This is a really good question to gauge personality – are you totally wide-eyed, excited, optimistic about the future and the goal ahead? Or is all of this like warm, melting vanilla ice cream that you just don’t give a shit about anymore. I’ve seen both. One personality approach will always be more successful than the other – I think you can figure out which one.
Who’s involved in all this? Are there three people actively and enthusiastically involved in this entire brand strategy process? Or are there 10-12 people mildly-concerned-but-overwhelmed-with-their-own-shit involved in this entire process? That makes a difference as to the heart, soul, personality, opinions that will support the brand strategy; it will also make a difference as to how quickly we can stand something up and get it rolling. Running it by 10-12 people will take forever; running it by three people who really, truly care means we can make this happen.
Keep in mind – personality and adventure aren’t concepts limited to just brands, companies, businesses. YOU can (and should) have both; which means that those two concepts are actually super personal.
It’s why certain casts of characters make a great story we remember forever.