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Thursday
Mar212013

___________ (Brand Name Goes Here): The Story of You.

Have you ever found it strange that you can't remember what day of pre-school you first heard a particular fable, yet you can remember the story as if you just heard it the other day? Simply put, people find it easier to recall stories than they do random facts. Why is this so? This is best summarized by Anil Kandangath, The Winner of Google's 2011 Data Viz Challenge,“People remember stories,” he notes. They may not recall individual facts, but when you can craft those facts together in a compelling arc, those facts become part of something more than the sum of their parts: a memorable tale. "

The goal is to provide information about your company in a way that is accessible, compelling and memorable. Retention isn't of great value if your story isn't worth telling or easily understood. Accessibility is contingent upon the sound foundation of your corporate governance and accuracy of your data. Without this your story goes from fantastic to fiction, or even worse incomprehensible. A compelling story evokes emotion, and this is done by every aspect of your brand living its purpose with the highest integrity and speaking to your enterprise objectives. Your brand has now transformed from a narrative to a biography in progress! The consistency of your business objectives and alignment of your marketing strategy with set objective makes your brand memorable. This article article by Branding:Magazine provides you with a step-by-step guide on creating a flawless, powerful story for your brand.

"3. Get to know the characters.

Think about the persona of your brand–is it feminine or masculine? Mainstream or quirky? Opinionated or open-minded? Think about your business as a person, What are some goals this person hopes to achieve and what are their values?" Nadia Goodman says this type of clarity will lead to a relatable persona and help you tell the tale."

 

Now that you've mastered the art of Brand Storytelling we advise you to keep all cylinders of the process in pristine condition. The storytelling process is never over. We like to think of it as writing your own memoir. Eventually, all the memorable stories add up to create your brands life story. So always keep in mind while writing your current story, "How do I want my brand to be remembered? Is this current story a step towards my brands legacy?"

 

Tuesday
Mar052013

Why your brand is like a fine wine.

A functioning business is very much like a living being. They can live and die, develop personalities, heck ... some are even recognized as people by the Supreme Court! It's no wonder that companies have their own stages of development similar to the human development process.

As parents are there to guide a child through stages of development, a small business owner acts as a parental figure to the young business. They are responsible for making decisions that will facilitate healthy growth of their company. Problems arise when these surrogate parents act like a child instead of looking at the best interest of the company and investing in its future.

"For startups and small businesses, branding can often take a backseat to other considerations, such as funding and product development. This is a mistake as a company's brand can be key to its success."

When it comes to branding, many small businesses owners are like 5 year olds afraid of a monster. The 5 year-old believes his blanket will keep him and safe, and if he closes his eyes tight enough he won't be seen or harmed. Lucky for the 5 year-old the monster is a figment of his imagination. Unfortunately, in the case of small businesses what they are hiding from isn't fictional. The company can be seen and harmed.

A brand is much like a fine wine or a toddler in its terrible twos. They get better with age. Lacking a brand from the start can have a devastating effect on a company. The following article from nytimes.com describes in further detail the importance of branding a business from the point of inception.

Thursday
Feb142013

Survival of the give-ist.

It is hard not to be optimistic when starting a company. Most envision the positives that await them just around the corner. It is easy to forget your primary responsibility for your company In the honeymoon stage. Your companies health and vitality. So we see a lot of people who think their idea is so innovative that it will protect their company from turbulence. We find those who quickly exit the honeymoon stage at the opposite end of the spectrum. They dare to consider the climate their business will dwell in and begin to see everything as a threat, question their vision and jump ship! My advice to the first group would be to get a reality check, my advice to the second would be build your confidence and learn to deal with stress.My advice to both parties would be: follow the previous advice based on what category you fall under, read this article ( The Brands That Survive Will Be The Brands That Make Life Better  and see me.

"The most tangible outcome of this is that the Meaningful Brands survey--which spoke to 50,000 consumers in France, Spain, the U.K., Germany, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, China, Japan, India, and the U.S.--found that only 20% of the brands they interact with have a positive impact on their lives. And they feel that 70% of brands could disappear entirely without them noticing.

What’s the trick to making a brand meaningful? Focus on outcomes, not outputs. Hauqe states the criteria is simple. "Did this brand make you fitter, wiser, smarter, closer? Did it improve your personal outcomes? Did it improve your community outcomes? Did it pollute the environment? We’re trying to get beyond "did this company make a slightly better product" to the more resonant, meaningful question: Did this brand actually impact your life in a tangible, lasting, and positive way"

Starting your own business can be overwhelming for many reasons. Knowing that you have a solid foundation to build upon will give you peace of mind. I can not stress enough how essential it is to know whom you are and how your existence will benefit society. Doing some soul searching in the begging will save you a lot of heart ache down the line. It will also provide you with the information you need to identify potential opportunities and threats for your business. The blueprint needed to navigate your route to success!

So if you haven't done any soul searching yet, read this article. Take a few minutes after and reflect on your purpose. What exactly are you bringing to the table? How is it specifically different and beneficial to other members of society? Why is your mission different than everyone else in your industry? How will you convey this message to people? Can you identify whom you want to reach with you message? Be specific. Finished answering these questions? Great! Now sit down and answer them again. Cut the fat and be as specific as possible. If you are struggling, it may be worth looking into hiring a company like Human Activity. Gaining assistance laying a solid foundation for your business to build upon will save you time and resources down the line.

Wednesday
Jan302013

Why your flaws just became your biggest asset.

We think this article by trendwatching.com - FLAWSOME: Why brands that behave more humanly, including showing their flaws will be awesome. - is totally FLAWSOME! 

"FLAWSOME:

"Consumers don't expect brands to be flawless. In fact, consumers will embrace brands that are FLAWSOME*: brands that are still brilliant despite having flaws; even being flawed (and being open about it) can be awesome. Brands that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor, and (dare we say it) some character and humanity.""

While this article is totally on point, I wouldn't recommend to any of my friends that they go and make a major mistake for the sake of increasing their brand value. That is the opposite of the articles main message. The articles message aligns with Human Activity's founding Principle: "Be whom you are, do what you do. Be Human".

This principle was developed due to the founders aversion to a majority of companies corporate cultures and their overall way of doing business. If we are all human, why act differently than what we are? Based off this article it appears that this is a shared desire as consumer preference is growing in the direction of Human Brands.