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TRUE Brands – Part 4, Conversation is So… Engaging.

This post is the final in a series of four, outlining my definition of TRUE Branding. TRUE is an acronym for True, Relevant, Unique and Engaging, and applies to my rules for successful branding.

The Series posts are titled:

1. TRUE Brands – Part 1, True Brands Just Start the Journey.
2. TRUE Brands – Part 2, It’s Not You, Really.
3. TRUE Brands – Part 3, How Do You Scare a Brand with a Cold? Unique Up On It!
4. TRUE Brands – Part 4, Conversation is So… Engaging.

Well, for my final post in my series on TRUE Branding, I wanted to bring your attention to a story that I posted last year called “I’ve Been Dripped.” It’s a simple tale about how my bank (almost “my old bank”) used a method of engagement that Drew McLellan likes to call “being a drip.”

Early in May, I shuffled down to my office with the intention of gathering paperwork and statement sheets and heading out to dump the bank I used for my business accounts. What was my reason? It wasn’t because of fluctuating interest rates or unwarranted overdraft charges. I just didn’t feel like my bank was engaging me. They didn’t converse with (engage) me. All they seemed to do was talk at me.

Sure, they kept me up-to-date on my account, their products, and any number of mind-numbing promotions that immediately got filed into “the circular file.” But what did they really mean to my company or me? Nothing. I didn’t feel like they cared if I was their customer. So, in turn, I didn’t care to be that customer…

(from my previous post)

Then I checked my mailbox.

In true “drippy” fashion, I was pleased to find a simple, but effective little note from my local Bank of the West branch. It was basic enough – a white, logo emblazoned card with a hand-written note from the teller I have met a hundred times, but never really recognized. She simply thanked me for banking with her branch and told me that they appreciated my business… No pitch… No laser-imprinted signature… Perfect.

Drip, drip, drip.

I still bank there. Why? I have one simple answer. Sarah, the teller, chose to converse with me as her customer. She made me feel valuable.

Over at Anna Farmery’s “The Engaging Brand blog,” I found a great quote:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

TRU Brands are okay. You have Truth, Relevance, and you’re Unique. But without being ENGAGING you’re just not being TRUE. (see how I did that?)

Contrary to what you’ve been told, a brand isn’t self-sustaining. TRUE Brands depend on four simple elements to make them successful.

Be Truthful about yourself and your Brand.
Be Relevant to your brand’s marketplace.
Be a Unique brand.
And Engage your audience, because they’re the ones that ultimately make or break a brand.

How does your brand engage its audience? Can you relate other stories of engaging brands? Join the conversation (ENGAGE). I’d love to hear your stories.

Until next time…

Keep Cooking!
Andrew

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