As a curious human being, I love hearing the stories behind a business, and the stories about customers’ experiences with that business. As a marketer, I find that these stories are key in establishing a brand and creating strategy.
When we begin the process, the first question I always ask is “why” – why does your organization exist and why are you in this business? Think hard. You could make money doing anything, but you chose to pursue THIS business. Why?
To get to the why, a great deal of reflection takes places.
– Think of times when you were happiest in your business. What were you doing? What did that time look like? What was happening in that moment to make you so happy?
– Think about your customers. When are they happiest with you? What stories do they tell you about experiences with your product or service? What is happening in those interactions?
– Remember your successes. What customer-related success are you most proud of, and why? What business-related success are you most proud of? Why?
– Consider the community as a whole. What impact are you making? Why does it matter to the community that you are in business? What is a time that you felt you were really contributing?
The goal of the reflection process is to remember stories that will begin to uncover the true essence of your why. These stories are uniquely yours, and help craft your overall story – one that no one else can tell. This will guide your branding, set standards for how your organization as a whole will interact with customers, and lead to experience – which at the end of the day, is what a brand is all about.