At it’s heart, every business is founded to serve. Either with a product to sell or a service for hire. I’ve always loved working with purpose-led businesses. But the truth is, every business has a ‘higher’ purpose if you know where to look.
When I first heard the phrase ‘brand story’ I didn’t have a Scooby-Doo what it meant. ‘Maybe it’s some kind of elusive myth that only clever ‘branding people’ know about’, I thought. ‘Either that or I’m just plain stupid.’ It was only when I went on a brand storytelling course in London – and a pretty bad one at that – that I finally got it.
Last month, Netmums hit the headlines once again. This time, some big name brands weren’t happy because their ads were appearing next to forum posts containing ‘offensive’ and ‘foul’ language. This got me thinking. What kind of language should a business use or not use (or even be associated with) in its marketing?
Speaking in public was a crippling fear for me only a year or so ago. Getting over it has been a long, slow process. I wanted to quit self employment and get a cosy job where I wouldn't have to do it at times. There's no easy way to get over it. But there is a way.
Bowie was the master of re-invention. Always on his terms, right up until the end. He dared to be his own true self. A creative one of a kind – and we adored him for it. Being yourself in business can be a toughie. I have spent two years ‘trying’ to fit in with a story I have of how I should be in business. It’s all made up, of course.
Amazon's touching story of friendship between an Imam and a Priest is a great example of festive brand storytelling – but what can it teach us about the importance of living and breathing the values we share with our customers?
I'll never forget the look on my youngest son’s face. Listening to that story brought the castle to life for him. We're never too old for stories. They can connect us to people, places and... customers.
A new blog inspired by my morning writing practice.
The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is a truly unique writing competition and a fine example of people 'living and working their values. Organisers Magic Oxygen Publishing plant a tree for every entry and give away £3,000 in prize money. They've also started building an urgently needed classroom at Kundeni Primary School in Bore, Kenya.
Having a living and breathing set of values at the heart of your business – and its communications – will set you apart from the crowd, help you reach more people and ultimately attract new business.