It's always a shock to see yourself on public display, especially on the cover (here's the magazine so you can be shocked too). It raises obvious and immediate self-doubt about needing better photos and the ongoing battle for the receding hairline. While it's much better than being put up on the post office wall, it's still a pretty humbling experience. But if you're working to build a company, a little boost always helps. Here are some lessons about being on a magazine cover:
It's the story that gets attention.
It's really the story that drives attention. In our case, that's literally the focus- brand story. It's the appeal of the brand story that put us on the front of the magazine, and it's the power of brand story that will help propel your business. Brand story has risen to the "must do" category for most leaders that want to focus on growth, because they know that it's hard wired into the human psyche.
While we all want to harness the power of the brand, it remains an intangible most of the time. The ability to operationalize and execute on brand story will put any business in a rare class. But the real truth, is that brand story, like the rest of business, it is mostly hard work.
Brand stories allow you to stand out
Brand Story is a key feature that allows a business to stand out. Differentiation is one of the direct outcomes of a strong brand story. When developed effectively, it makes your more memorable, makes advertising less expensive, and the cost of customer acquisition lower. Without a brand story and the uniqueness that it delivers - you're left to slog it out in the red ocean of competition.
A brand story also delivers a promise - the ability to deliver on the implicit brand promise found in your story. And like the formation of the brand story, delivering on promises is mostly hard work, too. Whenever you put your business (or your face) out in public, there is the opportunity for you to make your brand story continue to be true, or to make it even more true. If it is based in your authentic mission and work, then that shouldn't be too difficult. The only really safe place when it comes to brand stories is found by ensuring they are authentic.
Brand stories develop with the help of others, with your partners
Brand stories aren't only told using your own media and promotions - when they are strong, they are shared by others, and by your partners. Our partnership with HubSpot is one of the reasons that our story is getting noticed, and for that we are thankful. The support we've gotten as a Gold HubSpot Solutions partner is also part of why we have a brand story at all, and something to share. That's true of every business and nonprofit that is thriving and growing today - their partners help make their story possible.
Brand Stories Are Always a Collaboration
It almost always takes a team to deliver on a powerful brand story. It's no different at Story Collaborative - it's our team of talented creatives, artists, developers and marketing experts that helps us deliver on our story. But we've discovered something else, too. Our story is always being informed and shaped by our customers. Our approach to building brand stories is collaborative, and what's surprised us is how much our interaction with our customers has not only benefited the outcome, but also how much it has changed us as a result.
Brand stories created in isolation can never be as effective as those built together
Story Collaborative in the News:
Brand stories are delivered by effective systems
Our brand story, and the brand story of the companies that we have the privilege of serving, is supported by the systems that make them possible. While we might think that brand stories are mostly the fruit of creativity, the truth is that they are also the result of systems that allow for effective communication, customer service and ongoing improvement. Since brands today are carried digitally, it is digital systems the give them lift, and the ability to fuel growth for your company. Without the right system, its difficult to create ROI out of even the best brand story.