C’mon really, what business are you in?
We sell energy gels, but we’re really in the motivation business.
We sell team apparel, but we’re really in the unity business.
We sell knee braces, but we’re really in the confidence business.
These three scenarios are true stories for us here at Sussner.
The long-term successful companies are those that understand how to emotionally connect with their customer. They understand that it’s not all about the piece of gear, the service, or even its features and benefits—it’s about the feeling delivered/provided. Does this mean that words like “motivation, unity and confidence” need to be plastered high and low in your brand marketing? Absolutely not, but the spirit of those words does need to come through from top to bottom.
New lens, adjusted perspective
Defining the business that you’re really in clarifies everything you do. In particular, your marketing. A lack of self-awareness often takes the form of red flags like messaging and marketing that isn’t resonating and not working in the marketplace. We see it in the inability to taut anything but a product’s or service’s features and benefits, aka nuts, bolts, sizes, colors and free shipping.
To be selling motivation, unity and/or confidence is a far more inspirational creative catalyst than any piece of merchandise, no matter how shining or innovational. People want their happy, positive, and, this-solves-a-problem buttons pushed. And the truth is, only when an organization knows itself at the core, can it naturally push those favorite buttons.
Essence. Core. Ethos. Heart.
However defined, the emotional and/or cultural aspect of your business is a critical way to present brand clarity to your audience. Not only does your external audience want to perceive something deeper from you; so does your internal audience. What are we actually working for beyond a paycheck? Does my company/employer, or potential employer, actually have a soul?
Thankfully, most of our clients come to us with souls very much intact. It becomes our task to draw it out of them, give it a name, manifest it, and help them and their customer see them through that new lens.
Branding agency brand thyself
In the spirit of full disclosure, we’ve “struggled” here in this office with putting our hands on the heart of Sussner. But the fact is, this essence, core, ethos and/or heart can, and frankly, should be an evolving process. Our own experience has been revelatory for us and has further validated what we passionately believe about creating great brands.
When clients come to us in need, we are even more expertly and emotionally prepared to take them on this journey. It can take a minute or two to explore one’s own being and larger purpose. We persevere no matter how often we have to ask “but why?” or, how many times we notice an eye-roll at the mention of “brand essence.” They always thank us when the healthy baby is born and named.
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