When packing for a trip it seems like it may be a good idea to pack some nice-to-haves that may come in handy. But extra baggage generally slows us down.
Overtime brands also tend to put on some extra baggage via scope creep, over-extension or by growing in ways that are not core to its overriding mission.
Does your brand need to go on a diet?
Refocusing one’s brand is much like pruning a tree – trimming back its branches enables growth.
But doing this is not easy. To properly prune a tree one must make drastic cuts that at the time appear to be so extreme as to threaten the life of a tree. These cuts however, are essential to giving the tree the light it needs to grow.
So how does one refocus one’s brand, and trim the excess fat and lean up so its true form can shine through?
Being both a video editor and brand strategist video editing has taught me much about cutting the fat and how subtraction can make a story flow and better connect with an audience.
In video editing their is a common expression about the need to “kill your darlings”. As editors and shooters we often fall in love with some of our “best shots” and feel compelled to use them. But oftentimes these shots are not
needed to tell the story. Overtime one learns as an editor how extra stuff just clogs the arteries of a story. So if a brand message or visual branding element is not helping advance your story it should be eliminated.
1. Listen to ones inner voice
We are told in marketing to listen to our customers but sometimes it is more important to listen to our own voice and follow our true calling.
How can we inspire others if we are not passionate about what we are doing and what our brand stands for?
By being clear in purpose and inspired by your brand's mission one can focus on doing the things that are necessary to deliver on your brand promise.
Having a clear road map provides a filter for: What to do and What not to do. Things that are “off brand” will only be a diversion and take you off course?
2. Just Do it.
Build prototypes and see how they feel. If you have a brand presentation, website etc just try cutting elements that are not a top priority. Is the story stronger?
Are you still capturing the essence of what makes your brand special?
3. Check in with people you trust.
Since we get so close to our brand checking in with others provides us with an objective viewpoint. Sometimes we do not see the obvious or take what we do best for granted.
4. Sleep on it and make a decision.
Sometimes it is essential to give oneself some distance and check back in to see what feels right. If you have any doubts just flip a coin. If you feel like re-flipping the coin than your gut is telling you to not go that way.
Here is how we helped a non profit fine tune its brand.
Emotive Stories rebranded Lambs Farm a place where people with developmental disabilities lived and worked. Lambs Farm has a petting zoo, pet shop and restaurants that serves the public and that provides productive work for their participants. Most people thought of it as a place to bring their kids to pet a goat and had no idea about the wonderful things that went on their to support people with developmental disabilities. So what they did there was amazing but they were not doing the best job of communicating their message.
After conducting extensive interviews with all stakeholders; residents, staff, family members, visitors, volunteers, donors and community leaders, we developed the brand idea, “Lambs Farm. Where People Grow” to connect the metaphor of the farm to the organizations overall mission. We created a brand look and voice that was positive, affirming and very human. This message that connected with people on an emotional level. This brand idea inspired their staff and prospective donors. It provided a filter to evaluate marketing programs, community outreach activities such as launching a farmers market to draw the community to Lambs Farm and provided a clear direction to talk about what they do to support people with developmental disabilities. This is a video that we created to communicate this brand message to prospective donors.