Branding can be a pain in the ass, especially if you do something new and/or unusual.
The whole “fit in/stand out” thing can be a real headache – stand out too much, and nobody knows what to do with you. Fit in too much, and you’re redundant.
Over the years with iJump and then with sy we’ve struggled to articulate just what we do, and still, apparently, we’re not hitting the mark.
But we’ve made a decision about branding: by the end of the year, sy will no longer have the term “social media” in its name. It’s a phrase that raises hackles as much as it excites people. Worst of all, it gives an incomplete idea of what we do.
What are we going to rebrand to? I don’t know yet. Our customers are going to tell us.
Last week at Connect Now, Gary Vaynerchuck said he listens to everyone, but also ignores everyone when it comes to setting strategy. One of his quotes: “If you let your customers define you, you’re f**ked”. And he’s right.
So let me clarify: we know what we do, we just don’t know how to describe it in a very short sentence. We know the actions, we just don’t know the words. We’re too close. And probably, so are you.
So this year we’re collecting. We’re collecting great stories from our clients, we’re collecting their hopes and dreams and working with them to achieve those dreams, and we’re going to listen very closely to how they describe our part in their dreams.
Because we have some very cool clients, and we want to work with more people like them. So if we use the terms they describe, we figure like-minded people will be attracted to work with us.
This way, we can spend less time brainstorming our brand, and more time doing great work with our clients.
For the record, here are some of the things we do:
- Create content for clients that buzzes with humanity (copywriting)
- Help clients create their own content
- Facilitate clients to create their own culture, rules and guidelines around social media
- Help clients understand what they could do with social technologies, and then what makes the most sense for them to do using those technologies.
How do your customers describe your business?
(This post has been rolling around in my mind for some time, but Ben’s post on elevator pitches helped activate it)
(I’ve got to acknowledge the work of 7degree and Joi Design in getting us this far in our branding journey. This post doesn’t reflect on their abilities at all, the core of branding has to start with the company that owns the brand, and that’s us!)
(Photo from amboo who?)
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