I realize nurturing important personal relationships is very similar to developing a brand strategy. If we haven’t taken the time to understand a particular person who is important to us, there is no doubt the lack of this crucial foundation that will eventually show its colors when times are tough. In many cases, our personal relationships can’t withstand big stressful moments (or misunderstandings) if there is no solid foundation.
Building that relationship takes time and undergoes certain milestones. Meeting their friends, learning about their family, and understanding where they’re going in life…they all contribute to how well the two of you can weather a storm and build a more lasting bond.
The same is true when approaching a brand. Imagine if you don’t fully understand the brand? Instead of meeting their friends, you’re learning about their audience; instead of learning about their family, you’re learning their brand history; instead of understanding where they’re going, you’re learning how their product can evolve. They’re both relationships that benefit from asking questions.
Do you understand the value proposition as well as the vulnerable areas? Imagine if you didn’t understand who cares about the brand, and why they care? Can you already see the holes in the foundation?
In my experience, there are two scenarios that this can lead to:
- Another brand comes along, similar in look and feel yet so well packaged. It starts to gain notice with your desired customer base.
- A potential partner or investor wishes to learn more, and you are unable to clearly articulate the value proposition or, worse yet, be able to demonstrate customer/fan base engagement.
Had this been a relationship, it would have fizzled out, or worse. It’s better to work, deliberately, at developing that intimacy.
Be honest about your level of understanding, and if you don’t fully know your brand, learn about it. Understand it. Nurture it. Believe in it and then package it – test this with others.