It used to be that brands were constructed on solid business and reputation. Over time and if they were strong enough, they stuck around.
Brands were more of a commodity or currency that could be numerically valued and traded on. Brands were names that could be slapped on an award and put up on a shelf.
Today, brands are living entities, viewed as even more human than your most sophisticated artificial intelligence bot. And truly expected to behave humanly: with humor, seriousness or empathy as the world situation warrants. Brands are evolutionary, requiring constant change to progress; shaped by their online voice and presence in our digital world. Consumers expect it, so you must deliver your best self. BUT HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
A Life Coach?
It might seem surprising to learn that some of the brightest stars in business leadership and entrepreneurship today participate in some form of life coaching, therapy, or business coaching. They recognize the value of a person who knows the game extensively, has a good eye for strategy, and doesn’t have a personal stake in the game itself. There’s a good reason why celebrities will pay thousands of dollars to fly in their favorite fitness trainer. They know they can’t be the best version of themselves without someone to watch and direct their choices and actions.
Simply put, coaching works and is a very practical application of a larger strategy. Consider this rogue idea: if your brand wants to see its own star rising, then it needs its own life coach.
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you've always know you could be.”
In a world where a brand is a living, breathing person who must carefully articulate to the consumer your brand’s visions, goals, and beliefs, your brand personality is key. Do you know what narratives will resonate the best and help you to achieve success in your marketplace? A great life coach will strategize with your brand’s image to build on its strengths, keep weaknesses in check, and advise against things that will derail it from reaching its goals. Start thinking of your brand as a person on a mission and begin shaping who you want your brand “self” to be. As Tom Landry said: "A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be”
A Thriving Persona
Your brand’s voice and personality will be closely engaging with your potential customers, so there must be an intentional strategy to how you interact in the digital world. As a brand, product, or service do you portray a level of trust and sincerity to your customers? Can you make your digital channels embody the values you have set out to personify? If not, then you definitely aren’t someone that a customer will lean on or return to when they need something.
Shallowness and lack of authenticity are the hallmarks of a poor strategy, or possibly a good strategy that was not practically applied. On Twitter, is your brand’s personality funny and approachable? If your voice has become repetitive and monotonous, regurgitating the same conversations as everyone else, then now is the time to align your message and give it something real to say.
At Rogue, we’ve seen that the most motivated businesses, that grow the fastest, invest in outside coaching like this. They’ve even used our team (or other strategists like ours) as performance coaches to help them align their teams brightest thinkers and strongest voices to row the same direction so they can move further faster™. AND they invite us to do it again. Quarter after quarter realigning those ideas, assessing progress, generating stronger ideas and formulating new plans to achieve stronger outcomes and longer-lasting impact.
While life coaching or performance coaching may be a newer concept to some, sports coaching has been around much longer. No one can deny the important impact that coaches have had on their players and their teams. Not too long ago, the world lost a great champion in boxing, Muhammad Ali. As famous and memorable as Ali was, his trainer has also not been forgotten over the years. One of his more memorable quotes explains the role of an effective coach.
As CMO’s and marketing leaders, it’s important to find your brand’s coaching advocate, whether that be your role or someone else’s. It could be an insider with clear goals and direction on persona development, or an agency who has learned the game and can amplify your results; keeping a check on the persona’s goals and assessing its effect on the relationship with the consumer.
Here’s one last coaching tip to help keep this brand as a persona concept at the top of your mind: Take your trophies down from the wall, dust them off, and put them in the ring. It’s your brand’s turn to be a real contender in the digital world’s main event.