How do you describe your organization? In our recent web redevelopment project I was asked this very question and I approached it in typical B2B marketing fashion – I opened up word and started writing a brief that contained a flurry of adjectives that described the attributes and value propositions of our organization. Bored with myself – and my words – I had to stop. There must be a better way to introduce people to Stratford. That’s when it hit me…I needed to introduce people to Stratford! What if Stratford were a person? Who would he/she be? What is his/her story? Who is our brand?
With this approach in mind, I wrote Stratford’s bio/story and shared it with our website development team. It provided them with a strong creative brief summing up the organization, the relationships we have with our clients and our contributions to our community. It really helped drive the website project and keep our focus on communicating what’s most important. Although this was a great outcome, it was not the real success of the approach.
The magic really started happening when I shared the bio internally with our team at one of our executive meetings. Recognizing themselves in the story, the executives around the table could visualize themselves as the brand and found a newfound pride in our organization and the work they do. After seeing these reactions, it was clear we needed to share this magic with the rest of the team. So, I took the project one step further and made a short video using voice over and carefully selected photography to give our brand life. We presented the video at our quarterly business review and it received rave reviews.
“You paint the picture of someone I would very much like to spend time with!” – Stratford Manager
Built on the foundations of our people, our clients and our work, the Stratford persona was being recognized and celebrated as part of our brand, our identity. By telling the persona story of our brand, we strengthened our brand and we came closer together as an organization as we realized our commonalities, goals and accomplishments. I would recommend anyone looking to communicate the “why” of their brand to approach it first from a “who” – Who is your brand?
For us, we created a “who” and it really made it an impact. Allow me to introduce you to Stratford…