“Whatever you are seeking outside actually lies within” Have you heard this too many times? This may sound cliche but it is indeed true. Not just for humans, but it holds true even when it comes to brands. Each one of us wants to hustle. We want to make it big. We wish to create brands that are impactful and memorable. We want to pioneer ideas and to be known as the creators of most loved brands. But the question is, how do we get there?
The answer is simple, be believable, be lovable, be MORE HUMANE. People or humans don’t fall in love with a logo or your marketing ideas; they fall in love with emotions, or the human-like qualities of your brand.
Your stakeholders are omnipresent
Building brands is like raising a child; it takes a village to do so. Which is why you need to build your stakeholders first. They are not just stakeholders or partners; they are your companions. They are that village, and mind you, they are everywhere. Right from your friend circle, business club, partner’s meet to your social media. They are omnipresent.
Perhaps, that is the reason why you need to invest a lot more on building your stakeholders even before you make your first sales pitch or put your product out in the market.
Make them feel belonged
Create a feeling of belongingness amongst your stakeholders. Encourage intrapreneurship, it helps in building meaningful relationships, ones that will sustain forever. Such relationships often go beyond profit and loss and evolve into a support system that enables you to build a memorable brand. Create a culture of honesty, where people can communicate without fear. Allow them to fail and falter. In short, make them feel at home.
How will it help you? Have you ever heard anyone say bad things about their home? Never!
Let there be room for criticism
Your stakeholders can be your biggest fans and sometimes your most prominent critics. Very often, some of the most disruptive ideas shape up from creative criticism. Hence, encourage your stakeholders to criticise your ideas. This not just unveils the other end of the spectrum but also gives your stakeholders an active chance to participate and thus fosters ownership.
It also instils their belief in the overall vision, making them a dedicated advocate.
Empower them with the right tools
Since the year 2000, social media has reshaped social structure and social connections. Today, nothing can remain in the shadows. Like it or no, the single spokesperson era is over. Today people talk on behalf of organisations and their leadership on social media and tend to influence the public opinion in general.
Which is why it is now more critical to empower your stakeholders with the right tools, training, and support to make them your biggest asset and influential brand ambassadors. Encourage them all to be the brand’s spokesperson. After all, these are the people who are not just creating your vision but also living it every single day.
Encourage them to narrate stories
The age of ‘move fast and break things’ is over. Of course, people are still seeking new things and innovative solutions, but above all, they are seeking authenticity. They want to create compelling connections. They are keen to hear new stories.
They want to feel more humane.
There is a massive paradigm shift where we no longer want to relate to business; instead, we want to know the real people behind these businesses, we want to know with whom we are dealing. This can only be done by your stakeholders. That’s why, even Jeff Bezos asks Amazonians to ditch PowerPoint presentations and to instead write narratives of how products can impact people.
They are your real influencers
Few of the best brands of this decade have grown because of word of mouth. TVC’s don’t make a brand anymore, reviews and social chatter lead the brand to greater fortunes. You must have spent a lot of dollars on finding the right brand ambassador or finding that perfect influencer for Instagram or YouTube but remember, the shelf life of it is only limited till the next post. But the relationships your stakeholders create are real. They are your biggest influencers, brand ambassadors and promoters. The engagement is not just real here, but it is also long-lasting. It is impactful. So, allow them to represent your brand.
Finally, always remember “people matter the most”. Be it about building brands, communicating, innovating technology, creating new products, driving sales, or building an organisation. People matter the most.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.