Category — Storytelling
Brands are ultimately about meaning. Stories are the building blocks of meaning. And stories that connect your brand with a fundamental human need can help you build a powerful bond with your clients.
In our experience, this is as true for management consultants, accountants, law firms and architects as it is for carmakers, technology manufacturers, fashion designers and food brands. The difference is that while we have long accepted that emotional connection can drive consumer purchases, we like to think that business-to-business purchases are driven entirely by cold reason. They are not.
We have spent many years interviewing C-suite executives who purchase professional services. Sometimes one firm has a “silver bullet”, a tool or insight or method that nobody else has, so the choice is obvious. It happens, but it’s vanishingly rare (and quickly copied).
More often, clients have to choose between firms that have very similar offerings, people and approaches. So how do they pick? We have found that they make choices based on the story the brand tells them… the story that the brand allows them to tell about themselves.
Certain narrative patterns or storylines tend to recur within particular categories of professional services firms. The table below illustrates a few of the story patterns we often see in our work with these firms.
Each of these narrative patterns enables a brand to evoke and address a deep human need, even when offering an abstraction such as professional advice. And each of these stories can be told in a multitude of different ways.
By understanding these patterns, a professional service firm can drive differentiation and preference.
So how do you discover and then develop your authentic brand story? There are strong clues in your firm’s origin story and in the recurring iconic stories about the firm that your professionals tell themselves. The stories that clients tell about you (and the language they use to tell them) are also powerful sources. In both cases, it takes skilled questioning and astute listening to draw out the truth in the tale.
Once you have discovered the fundamental brand story that reflects the truth of your organization, it can then be developed into compelling market-facing messages, woven through all your communications and crucially, embedded in the culture of the firm and the behavior of your people.
August 7, 2015 Comments Off on Stories are the Building Blocks for Professional Service Firm Branding
Mean Something If You Want To Matter
Any brand that endures and stands out from the pack does so by connecting with a fundamental human need.
Professional services firms, which deal with abstractions and intangibles, can begin to build and leverage this deep human connection by first understanding what they stand for – what they intend to mean to their clients and employees.
A powerful, authentic brand captures and signals the underlying human meaning in your business – the thing that sets you apart and makes you matter to your marketplace of potential clients and recruits.
Your brand is therefore a strategic business issue, way more profound than issues like name, logo, tagline, or visual style. Those are symbolic expressions of the brand, shortcuts to the meaning in the business: they are not the brand itself.
One of the key challenges for a professional services firm is how to encourage clients to have a committed relationship to the organization, not just to the individual consultant. Brand offers a way to do this, by building a shared sense of the meaning in the business, while at the same time enabling individual professionals to express that meaning in a way that is authentic to them.
Our experience helping professional services firms to differentiate and market themselves effectively has helped us identify three key factors that set professional services brands apart:
- Relationship is the envelope that wraps the client work. Professional services firms need to understand and leverage the emotional value of the client relationship as a key differentiator
- Attracting and developing talent is as important as attracting and developing clients. Aligning the internal and external brand is crucial
- Vision, values and beliefs drive the behaviors that convey the brand. Understanding and clarifying these areas is essential to building a meaningful professional services brand.
Take McKinsey and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the top two global strategy consulting firms. They each recruit similar people from the same set of elite schools, and they each address similar business challenges with similar intellectual tools. And yet clients see real differences and make choices between the two. How and why?
The answer lies in the meaning that both firms have built as they have developed their respective brands. McKinsey has come to mean power and control – the stability and order that enables prosperity. BCG on the other hand, has built its brand meaning around understanding and transformation – the insight that empowers you to change your circumstances for the better. Both are compelling meanings that speak to fundamental human needs, but each appeals to a different client mindset.
These two iconic consulting brands have used narrative and story to create meaning and differentiation as they compete for clients and talent. Our next post will explore how to use story as a tool to differentiate your firm, and to create meaning that attracts the right clients and the right recruits.
July 1, 2015 1 Comment
lieu rencontre bordeaux lac
club de rencontre l’entente
télécharger rencontre avec joe black hd
lieu de rencontre paris celibataire
dating femme laval
msg anniversaire de rencontre
site de rencontre entre chomeur
comment devenir prostituée
petites annonces rencontres 94
site de rencontre israelite
la lande de la rencontre saint aubin du cormier
dvd rencontre avec des hommes remarquables
sortir reims rencontre
china street prostitutes at singapore geylang lor 8 10 12
alaska rencontre quatrieme type
prix des rencontres du mont-blanc
rencontre fille americaine
thomas langmann prostituées
rencontres photo arles 2011 dates
depuis que je te rencontrer
rencontres skype gratuites
rencontre gratuite en aveyron
rencontres augc 2014
friends ross rencontre emily
rencontres annonces belgique
adultère avec prostituée
rencontre avec femmes maghreb
doc gyneco site de rencontre
rencontre sur internet canada
à la rencontre de l’homme qui brûle
rencontre vitré 35
prostitué a domicile liege
rencontres regionales autisme
rencontre femme malgache ambilobe
club vacances pour faire rencontres
rencontre nc gratuit
rencontre d’un jour gratuit
carte prostituée lyon
prix abonnement site de rencontre
les rencontres détenus victimes l humanité retrouvée
rencontre boite de nuit
rencontre maroc annonce
date rencontre photo arles 2011
les effets des rencontres
rencontres et debats avignon
site de rencontres points communs
prostitute seattle wa
match rencontres avis
werken als prostituee
al fin te encontre josel y raul mp3
l attente notre rencontre
rencontre francophone liban
rencontres gay 13 ans
meilleur site rencontre amicale
rencontres nora roberts
cécile duteille rencontre
rencontre serieuse vannes
etudiante pour rencontre paris
site de rencontre sourd et muet
bulgaarse prostituees groningen
site de rencontre homme bresilien
igloo rencontre imode
prostituées verneuil sur avre
rencontre celibataire bio
site rencontre pour ado ligne
rencontre femme ahfir
moi christiane f. 13 ans droguée prostituée film streaming
fiche zone rencontre
rencontre par code postal
la rutina hoy no va a enloquecer ayer me perdi pero hoy me encontre
rencontre sexe haute corse
rencontre serieuse charente maritime
rencontres avec des amis
site de rencontre gratuit sans frais
faux profil site de rencontre
rencontre villefranche de rouergue
quebec rencontre victoriaville
quel site de rencontres est gratuit
nous nous sommes rencontrées en anglais
site de rencontre macedoine
rencontre avec joe black download
site de rencontres street
quand harry rencontre sally amazon
bar rencontres rouen
rencontre fle diffusion
rencontre enrique iglesias
site rencontre nc
May 20, 2015 Comments Off on recherche rencontres lyon
Inertia is an amazingly powerful force, and “reason” often proves inadequate to overcome it. Think about how hard it is to get people to move their bank accounts even when it is clearly in their financial interests. Or why nearly three-quarters of all corporate change initiatives fail, no matter how well argued, or how compelling the business case.
Human behavior is hard to change, and this is one of the biggest obstacles facing businesses selling sustainable products and services. We believe that brands are uniquely well placed to help, because they can speak two languages – reason and story. And they can leverage the unusually powerful relationships they have with consumers.
November 12, 2013 Comments Off on How Brands Can Put Us on Our Best Behavior
For those living through the “Perfect Storm” of October 2012 that hit the East coast of the U.S., we all, collectively, had our senses heightened out of need. Many had no electricity, the coast had severe flooding, wind damage was everywhere and there were all manner of challenges in the days following the storm. What I found interesting is how some well-known “brands” comforted my soul as the winds howled and the storm raged on.
For example, we heated up Campbell’s Chicken Noodle and Tomato soup in the evenings over a propane stove. More than the warmth of the soup, the Campbell’s brand enveloped us with a smile and a comforting feeling that all would be OK. It was like a grandmother’s hug.
November 12, 2012 Comments Off on Brands can be the Comfort Food for the Soul
“Long-term brand equity and growth depends on our ability to successfully integrate and implement all elements of a comprehensive marketing program.” – Timm F Crull, Chairman & CEO of Nestle
Branding and public relations (PR) professionals have a great deal in common. Branding professionals develop and communicate a promise. PR professionals bring that promise to life through stories, case studies, videos, events and points-of-view. Despite the common ground, branding and PR professionals don’t always collaborate. In some cases, this is because accountabilities reside in different departments. In other cases, it’s because each discipline has its own way of doing things.
May 1, 2012 Comments Off on What Branding and PR Professionals Can Teach One Another