Once upon a time, a brand story was told

January 22nd, 2016

“Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust..” – Richard Branson 

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Jeff Bezos 



Use the Sniper not a Shotgun

We agree with Mr Jeff Bezos, not only because he created Amazon but because that’s what our company strives to do each time we work with a client. We create a reputation that leaves a story behind to continue the conversation. When it comes to branding we like to take a Sniper approach. No we’re not planning to remove any political leaders from their esteemed positions (that would be bad timing) but we are hoping to remove the assumption that a brand story can be told with one big execution aka the shotgun approach. (shotgun vs sniper…get it?)


This approach can be used across multiple areas of business and life. We like the “Salary Tutor’s” take on it when it comes to job hunting. 


When building a brand story, we try to put ourselves in the shoes of the audience. Thinking about Who they are, what do they think and feel when they see certain images or products? We get imaginative and think about what their life story looks and feels like. From that process we develop brand stories.  

Knowing your audience is a staple in public speaking training, so why wouldn’t we use that in branding, advertising & communications? A public speaker may have the audience of a couple thousand people who have already entered the room with a desire to hear from a speaker. However, the audience consuming mass media can range from being a passer-by to a full-on brand evangelist, this means we should get to know our audience so we can cut through the noise. 

After 16 years in PR/MarComm, we can safely say we know a thing or two about reaching people. Here’s our brief take on telling brand stories:

5 steps to audience intimacy – getting to know your audience on a deeper level:


1. If you could describe them in one sentence, how would you? Demographics

Here’s an example: Single female, late 20s living in California, works in the creative industry and earns 40-50k a year. 


2. Where does it hurt the most? What is their pain point

We all have pain points, for some people its not having the right technology to support their daily activities – like a functioning transit app or for another audience it might be needing the right sized Tupperware for their favorite meals. Learning your audiences pain points helps you to uncover their motivations for purchase


3. What do you have that helps their pain go away?

This is where you The Brand actually come in, notice how the first two steps were about the audience? 🙂 

What are the benefits of your product that helps to solve or ease the audience’s pain point? Your ultimate goal is to solve it, but start with making it just a little bit better and improving your product from there. 


4. How and where do they look for information?

Do they visit blogs, read the newspaper, or absorb the daily news through their Facebook newsfeed. Every audience consumes content in a different fashion and its your job as the brand to discover that. 


5. What grinds their gears? In other words, what kind of messaging makes them upset? 

If your brand is about wellness & long-term health, and yur audience is committed to that lifestyle; you really should not create content surrounding quick-fixes or 30-day transformations.