Updated: Nov 1
The suns rays reflect my mood as I spring down a Barcelonan street, my 2.5 year old bumbles along by me pushing his own buggy gaining grins from onlookers who notice the half-sized person in control! "Zandon, are you looking forward to your first day at nursery school?" "Yep." His favourite word. "Not as much as me!" Automatic, internal response.
We get to the door, we are greeted and shown inside, this place is like a contemporary, child-friendly, expansive exhibition. Everything looks like a piece of sculpted art, beautiful, spacious and considering it's a nursery... gleaming!
I'm obviously charmed, Zandon too. We join his class in the sand garden and there we begin the 2 weeks of degradation from impressed, to confused, to frustrated, to finally we're out of here. Why? What happened? A lack of good communication, the willingness to connect and not enough adequate training to keep Zandon happy happened. His teacher had no clue and seemed to have no desire to engage with him and build a relationship, so settling in just could not be successful.
Sadly the gigantic, beautiful, exquisitely located nursery went down in our books as, 'all the gear but no idea.'
'All The Gear And No Idea'
Don't make this mistake with your business: having a stunning physical storefront or digital platform, breath-taking social media posts but missing all the foundations, your defined purpose. Not knowing your real purpose, can cost you energy, a lack of motivation and feeling like you've got an abundance of beauty around you but it's empty. Your company's purpose is at the very heart of what compelled it's birth.
What's so attractive about purpose? When you and you your team are working from your brand's deep convictions, combined with the realisation that you are guides, everything about what you do is fuelled with effort energy. Then communicating with those you want to serve becomes an honour because it is apart of you meeting the need you set out to.
So where do the foundations start?... Your Brand Story.
Humans naturally love stories. We bond over mutual experiences and enjoy sharing those experiences with each other. We love telling stories, reading stories, and hearing stories.
How To Begin Writing or Rewriting Your Brand Story
Just like any season of your life has a narrative, the reason you began your business has one too. It may have been inspired by a problem you saw that needed solving, a person you wanted to help. Then ask yourself, why was it so important, and what barriers had to be overcome? These are the stories that, repeated over and over, stay core to a brand's DNA, it is what firstly makes it a 'brand'.
My research has also shown that stories are useful inside organizations. We know that people are substantially more motivated by their organization’s transcendent purpose (how it improves lives) than by its transactional purpose (how it sells goods and services). - Paul J. Zak JB
Write the beginning of your Brands Story. Sit down, get comfortable and start thinking about the questions I threw at you above: why did you start the business in the first place? Why was it important? What was the problem you wanted to solve? Was there a problem or was there a desire you wanted to fill? Go the whole hog leave no detail out. Write the dream.
Write your present and future stories. Continue the story flowing into where you are and where you are going. There may be interesting facts and details. With the story complete go through and underline the parts which speak very clearly about your brands purpose.
Write your statement with the focus on how you serve your target. The reason why your brand exists should be popping out and ready for you to construct into your pinpoint story-statement.
How does this story translate to your brand's communications?
A few years back I read the awesome book, Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller, if you haven't read it, I highly recommend as a resource for any brand really looking to clarify their brands message and finally feel confident about their website content, emails and marketing plan afterwards.
Donald shares simply and brilliantly how most of us have been talking about ourselves too much and not getting into the head and heart of our ideal client - the one who we exist to help. He lays out a helpful process that walks us through our character (target audience) their problem, their guide (us) who has a plan and inspire them to action... Which if we do our job well, leads them to success!
The Seven Essential Elements Of A Good Story
1. A character
2. With a problem
3. Meets a guide
4. Who has a plan
5. And calls them to action
6. Which can lead to failure
7. Or success
Such a fun way to relate and connect our target audience and our business! This process should be just that, enjoyable. Enjoy getting passionate about your brand again or delve deep starting one from the ground up with the right foundations. You won't regret it!
Oh, and the happily ever after... some perseverance in finding the right nursery for my son swiftly paid off. I found one 2 minutes from our house, which teaches him three languages and he amazingly settled on the first day. Why? I clearly saw the why: they engaged him, used communication that calmed him, the environment was set up for successful transitions, they had a heart to serve him and make sure their purpose of making children happy away from home was fulfilled.
They were cemented in their why, their story.
Think about this deeply as we close the year, do you know your Brands Story, is it the springboard for your focus and how you serve?
If you've gone through this process and you have successfully got your Brand Story, you're ready to move on to the next stage of zoning in on your identity. Don't miss the next post on, Creating a Really Compelling Brand Identity >>.