Diane Lurie is a brilliant brand strategist and executive coach (as well as one of our members!). This week we’re delighted to have a guest blog from Diane, with some fantastic, clear advice on the importance of a strong brand identity and some helpful steps to assist you get there!
The thing I love most about strong brands: they inspire confidence in the people who are involved with them.
Brand owners feel more confident about themselves and their business; clients and prospects feel more confident choosing them.
Let’s take agencies with a strong brand: agency owners feel able to charge a bit more, hold their boundaries, be bolder in their advice, more creative in their work.
And agency clients are more likely to respond by paying a bit more, taking their agency’s advice, growing commensurately, and referring more.
See the ripples spread…
I’m a brand strategist and executive coach, working at the intersection of truth, happiness, and success. A lot of my work involves helping clients build personal and business confidence, and brand can make a big difference to mindset and behaviour.
The confidence of knowing who we are
As we’ve become more preoccupied with issues of identity and knowing who people and businesses are, I’ve observed in clients a growing appetite for defining who they are and what they’re bringing. Not only do they value discovery and finding their meaning, they see their truths as a key driver of competitive advantage and preference (and other business effects) – particularly welcome in a tough environment.
It’s stressful not being sure how to respond when clients want to know ‘Why you?’, and I notice that brand owners enjoy being able to express their brand clearly and powerfully, whether in person with their elevator pitch or through marketing materials.
The power of positioning
The centre of your brand strategy, a tight positioning statement encapsulates what you stand for, why you matter to your audience, how you’re different / better from selected competitors. So pithy, so choiceful, it’s easy to see why figuring this out confers confidence across the board.
We can feel overwhelmed by all the choices available. Brands provide an important service for people, at business and human levels, helping us make decisions with more comfort and confidence, and relationships that last.
Brand strategy enables confident action
Working out our brand strategy is obviously a separate thing from brand execution, and while the former is the foundation for the latter, I want to emphasise how powerful a brand strategy is in its own right. It guides what we say, how we pitch, the decisions we make, the direction we travel in; a management tool to inform product development, training, after sales, employee development, and more.
The power of creative
Having emphasised the power of strategy, I want to make sure I give maximum respect to creative and its magical powers.
It’s impossible to overstate the difference a creative idea and execution can make. Delivering emotion, likeability, cut-through and memorability, creative is a ludicrously unfair advantage. And the smallest brand can access or generate transformational ideas.
And yet, we often deny ourselves that which we know transforms the fortunes of our clients.
Clients tend to notice when businesses leverage creativity: they see that the business is betting on itself and tip their hat.
Socrates wasn’t wrong. Nor was Shakespeare when he wrote To thine own self be true. Lean into your strengths, passions, and convictions to differentiate your offering; root your brand in these truths; and ensure that your brand makes you feel good when you talk about it.
Because your confidence is the beginning of the ripple.
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Diane is a brand strategist and executive coach. She helps brands, organisations and people unlock their true potential.
She specialises in deep work to discover what’s special and authentic: authentic brands and people typically achieve better results – and also help the world feel more human and hopeful.