COMPLEXITY: THE KEY TO A MORE ENGAGING BRAND
Blog Post, Posted on April 01, 2015
Brands, like people, have personalities. And values. Not surprisingly, the most successful ones also seem to have a clear reason for being. Which is probably why those of us in the branding business spend a lot of time talking about focus.
Since brands really are like people, having focus shouldn’t make your brand one-dimensional. Have you ever met someone who tells the same stories over and over again? Or what about the friend who only wants to have fun, who can’t have a serious conversation? Those first few interactions can be pretty engaging, but the repetition grows old after awhile. We lose interest. Contrast that with the friend who has a range of interests and points of view. We find ourselves seeking them out, wanting to get to know them better. The same can be true for brands.
To illustrate this point, I’d like to tell you about a law firm we recently rebranded. Foster Pepper has been around for a century and is very well-respected. Everyone we talked with said they were trustworthy, collegial, good people. Real team players. Enviable remarks. Consistent. The only problem was, it didn’t necessarily differentiate them from any of their competitors. And with the growth in hot new boutique firms and specialty practices, Foster Pepper needed to stand out better. It was time to add some complexity to their story by uncovering and articulating the qualities that made Foster Pepper a leader in their industry.
So we did a deep dive into all things Foster Pepper. We learned that over the last century they’d been involved in helping a number of notable organizations grow and make the transition from private start-up to public ownership. Foster Pepper’s land use practice had been instrumental in the success of a number of key development projects and the firm did an impressive amount of pro bono work that changed the lives of marginalized individuals. In a word, the work they do is transformative.
Which leads us back to that element of complexity. By evolving Foster Pepper from the position of team player to that of a partner who “transforms companies, communities, and lives,” we created a brand that was both focused and intriguing. We created a platform for sharing case studies that showcased Foster Pepper’s role as transformer. And in so doing we created an endless source of touch points for connection and engagement.
So, next time you’re looking to build engagement with your brand, try digging a little deeper than you normally would. You just might find something really interesting to share with the world.