WEDNESDAY 12 FEB 2020 9:59 AM


How do you make sure your brand story doesn’t fizzle out after launch? By helping everyone in your business – from chatbot to CEO – tell your story well, says Kit Cooper. Bladonmore is shortlisted at this year's Corporate Content Awards

Think about any communication strategy or campaign you’ve worked on. Now think about the key milestones involved. Plenty leading up to launch, but what’s scheduled in for the weeks and months beyond?

If a story really matters – like your brand story does – you need to make it part of people’s lives for more than a moment in time. Why is it most rebrands involve employee engagement before launch but rarely after?

Before launch, employees are asked to help define the brand and respond to visual and verbal ideas as thinking progresses. Then, just before launch, they are given a series of materials conveying the brand story and instructions on where to find guidelines and templates online.

Usually, the next time employees get to hear about the brand is at appraisal time, when values have been inserted into the assessment process. Little is done to help employees learn what the brand purpose, values and story mean in detail – to both the business and them.

Investing in branded content for external audiences will help to feed internal audiences. It is a powerful way to help your brand story live on.

The Convivialists, a content strategy that Bladonmore developed for Pernod Ricard, was designed to promote the company’s brand purpose – Créateurs de Convivialité – to Millennials globally, but also to employees. It gave employees the material they needed to talk about the company’s purpose with confidence and retell the brand story to its audiences.

The ultimate aim was for conviviality to be the turn-to ‘anecdote’ at key customer touchpoints, new business presentations and employee inductions. We wanted every employee to know the conviviality story and get on board.

It all sounds so easy. Just launch your story and keeping telling it, right? But of course, organisations have lots of stories to tell – there’s always another initiative, report or strategy to get out there, fighting for people’s attention.

You need to find creative and disruptive ways to give people – everyone from chatbot to CEO – the words, phrases, example behaviours and supporting stories that help them talk about your brand in natural, conversational terms.

It only really works if you have a great brand story to start with. Getting the components right at launch is important. Make sure your brand story is people-centred, personalised, contains emotion and involves both a challenge and solution.

As a result, audiences will immediately be more engaged because they feel aligned with the ‘hero’ of the story and get caught up in the desire to find resolution. They are also far more likely to remember the information you’ve given them.

Once you’ve got the brand story right, the important thing to remember is people love to learn. The ensuing task is making sure the reward for their decision to learn is worthwhile.

Back your brand story up with substance. Let audiences drill down and discover more, whether by listening to your CEO, viewing a customer film, streaming a podcast, or reading interviews and articles. Great content will ensure their sense of fulfilment and knowledge grows; that they absorb your brand story even more and help it live on.

Kit Cooper is a director at Bladonmore

Book your places for the Corporate Content Awards now.