22nd June 2017

Identity before Destiny

by Craig Hall, Managing Director

Sometimes brands are sitting on assets they don’t know they have!

You’ve got to know who you are before you know where you’re going. In the life of any brand the same holds true.

The clues to a brands future, especially those that have been established in a haphazard or ill-thought out manner, are often found in its past. Sometimes you have to go and dig. I was struck by this whilst reading ‘Know your Why” by Ken Costa and also some thinking I was doing recently for a multi-national client.

That professional services client had been founded in a Nazi occupied area of Europe during the Second World War. Let me clarify …the Nazis took over and then this guy decided to start a business. Go figure!

What drove him to do that? How motivated was he? What energy did he muster as the invaders paraded around his backyard? What wrong was he trying to right via the company he established?

What a truly identifying, ‘stand out from the crowd’ kind of story.

The thinking behind this little nugget was unearthed from the depths of Wikipedia, not under the ‘About us’ section on their web site or via a ‘This is our story’ video. A business sitting on its true identity but currently unaware of its power in helping to fulfill its destiny.

Perhaps the spectre of business-to-business branding had sucked the emotional momentum out of that kernel of a great story. You can imagine bankers, accountants, and tax experts round a table stating that they don’t ‘do’ story telling – that’s for other industries.

However, an identity told via a story is powerful, no matter what the industry or line of work you’re in. Business is people. People relate to stories. See TED – story after story.

If businesses today are not media businesses first and foremost, based on a true identity, their destiny may be long in coming.

Ultimately, a brands story is not just something businesses should refer to every time they launch a new marketing campaign but be the foundations on which their growth strategy is built. A brands story will inevitably create necessary sustainability and growth through its integration between campaigns, products, culture and employee engagements.

The integration of a brands heritage into a clearly well defined story is not a fluffy marketing technique but a tool for brands to build their business from the inside out.  It’s a tool to support managerial decision making, building, aligning and sticking by the aims and objectives which will drive the business into the next stage of its lifecycle.

So…what’s your story?

If you think Teviot can help uncover the chapters of your brand don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Craig Hall, Managing Director

Identity before Destiny