For the love of brands… don’t stop telling the story

A rant about the need for more practical practices.

If the story of every brand has ‘the power to engage and inspire people, to change behaviors and attitudes’ then, for the love of brands, please don’t stop telling those stories. But a brand’s story shouldn’t end after a few explosive chapters. We need to keep writing the book.

As brand guardians, we all have the responsibility to honour this. To respect the brand and keep nurturing the ever-evolving relationship with our audiences. Because when we stop telling the story, we abruptly stop writing the book. And the engagement between brand and audience starts to fade.

Yet the stories I talk of are not the curated social media images and videos we have all learnt to over-produce. But the authentic interactions and moments of truth our customers experience when they truly experience our brands. It’s really quite simple: all we need to do is create the conditions to allow our brands to manifest themselves in all their glory and then, let our customers celebrate.

Positioning, values, proposition, persona, purpose and voice: all are useless terms if our slide-decks fall short of being practical and actionable. Sometimes, as consultants and industry professionals, we are more likely to seek the terms of engagement than how we can actively engage our brands’ relationships.

A term I throw around a lot these days is ‘Confuse to Abuse’, which describes the way advisory sometimes seems to roll. By confusing our clients, we only abuse their trust and derail great plans. Good consultancy must be able to go beyond the boardroom and drive results.

Good brand work resonates in the C-Suite with CFOs, CEOs and COOs. It inspires organisations to move mountains and execute with an unstoppable force. But shoddy brand speak, that is only speak, alienates, disengages, and slows down progress of otherwise potentially successful brands.

So it’s time to change. It’s time to stop making the simple, complicated.