Branding is misunderstood. It is not colours, and pretty pictures. It is deeper than that, much deeper.
Why does Nike make commercials that get people to burn their sneakers? Why doesn't Starbucks offer a $1 coffee day? Why is Apple laptops twice the price of their traditional competitors?
The answers lie in their corporate beliefs.
I've opened and operated six traditional businesses in the past ten years. Four of them were multi million dollar operations.
As a consultant, I work with entrepreneurs to discover their brand values.
I have a real life Master's Degree in Business, although it's so long ago and so far out of date, my experiences far outweigh it.
Outside of consulting and business ownership, I mentor 10 budding entrepreneurs and I work with a local college as an entrepreneur in residence.
In my spare time, I regularly teach a class on branding, visibility and marketing strategy to new entrepreneurs.
Brands by definition are stories embedded in the mind of the market. A good story has the ability to create emotion in the hearts of the listener, reader, or viewer.
The funny thing about stories is that although the arcs and endings change, a lot of the characters repeat themselves. These characters become our heros.
To understand your brand hero, start with yourself. Create a brand diamond of who you are with four different attributes.
Your company cannot be something you are not.
Once the character diamond is created for you (as founder), then apply those same attributes to your organization.
If you're having a hard time coming up with your character attributes, give me your top five favourite movies of all time. With that information, I can probably tell them to you. Our heros show up in things we enjoy (like movies, books, poetry, etc).
Once you identify your character attributes, you can tell the story from your hero's point of view (using similar arcs as your favourite movies).