Organizations Archives ~ Soulful Brand

The Temptation to Copy a Competitor

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It was a line that stroked my ego. And in the same moment, I knew there was a misunderstanding about the role we were really playing.

A client of ours, on a core working team for our engagement, spoke the words that caused my concern.

He said something to the effect of, “we need you to tell us if we should change our offer to be more like our competitor’s.”

On one hand, I love to imagine myself as someone with “the answers”. On the other, as a consultant, my role is to cultivate the conditions in which the leaders of a company can see the best strategic directions for themselves.

Furthermore—and this is important for all companies that are feeling stuck in their marketing efforts—becoming more like your competition is only a good idea if it’s coming from a place of being more authentic to what your organization truly stands for.

Let me say that a slightly different way: Don’t try to be like the popular kids. Get to know yourself better and let what you uncover guide your decisions about who to be and what to offer. Read More

Great testimonials

The Art of Gathering Great Testimonials

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In our work with organizations, we often do a messaging audit up front to get a sense for how our clients are communicating online. One area of review is: what kind of testimonials is this organization gathering and sharing?

A testimonial is a positive experience that’s conveyed through the voice of your customer (or client).

Your customer’s voice is important to both understand and showcase. Why? Because there’s only so much your organization can convey about what you offer before coming across as self-aggrandizing. And hearing the language and experience directly from real customers gives potential ones a more believable sense for what they might actually get by engaging with your product or service.

During our review, the main question we ask ourselves is, “what useful information is the testimonial giving and what’s being left out?”

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Building Brand Alignment Before Building a Website (part 2)

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In part 1, we outlined the tendency for organizations to head right to a new website before understanding how they’re unique in the marketplace. We also uncovered what happens with conflicting voices in the organization related to marketing communications, and how those voices can impact clarity, whether they’re spoken or silent.

Now let’s get into the purpose and process of getting aligned…

The Desired Outcome: Getting Internally Aligned

When it comes to multiple stakeholders, coming to agreement around communications in the marketplace can be tricky. In our process, we don’t encourage alignment by way of everyone being an equal decision-maker, but we do recommend that representatives of all groups inside the organization are given a chance to be heard, in some form or another.

The purpose of this method is to capture all the perspectives and give voice to the differences so that in the end, people have had a chance to express and there’s no internal fracturing of the group’s shared brand intentions. As a result of a more interactive approach to brand strategy, organizations can develop a culture of clear and aligned expression. In such a culture, the people inside the organization are the main stakeholders for their marketing message and efforts—able to sense when things are on the right track and when the essence of the brand is not being honored—rather than always needing to farm that awareness out to a contractor. Read More

Building Brand Alignment Before Building a Website (part 1)

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If you see the potential of what a website can be, you might imagine how a new website could lead to objectives like:

  • an increase in sales
  • a competitive distinction
  • more inspiration inside your organization

And if you’re part of a purpose-driven organization that either doesn’t fit into the mainstream or is trying to stand out in a crowded market, you probably desire clarity around one or more of the following questions on the way towards a new website:

  • How can we tell others about our work in a relatable way?
  • How can we do this without losing our sense of who we really are?
  • What does our work boil down to?
  • Why does it matter to us and why should others care?
  • How can we get noticed without being pushy?

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