Branding Workshops: When the storyteller gets enthralled with your story

As branding consultants, we often conduct branding workshops for our clients. These are either during the course of a single day spent with the client’s team at their offices or during offline meetings spread across a couple of days. Have you noticed that none of us can spend four to five hours in an online meeting but we can spend the same time interacting offline? Hmm, food for thought and for a blog, the writer in me thinks. Well, what I wanted to share was that I really enjoy these excursions, whether they are offline or online.

These interactions are often like meeting new acquaintances for the first time. In fact, it’s like being invited by a new acquaintance for a walkthrough of their home. No, I am not a voyeur. I have just been blessed with insatiable curiosity. 

What makes the other person tick? That’s what drives my curiosity. 

We often get to meet the founding team as part of the branding exercise. These are people who found the courage to follow their dreams and start their own company! There are often interesting stories behind each of these serious enterprises. As storytellers, we are fascinated by these stories. 

As branding experts, we also have the license to prod and dig deep into the psyche of the company. 

We get to know clients while they answer profound questions like:

  • How did you arrive at this place? What led you to follow your passion for this business?
  • What needs of your customers do you fulfill? 
  • How do you fit into your customer’s lives?

It’s also interesting to see what the team perceives and absorbs from these interactions. The designers in the team start to visualise the colours and the emotions. The writers start grabbing on to small little nuggets that the client says. These will later turn into catchphrases and keywords. That’s why it’s crucial to encourage the client’s team to tell their stories, even when they feel that their stories are run of the mill and boring. But, that’s what we are there for. As the client opens up and shares the what, how and why of the company, the team starts building a picture or story. We polish product stories and coax out the human elements in service offerings. We are always aware that each one of these stories are an interesting part of the tapestry of life.

As each story unravels, we introduce our clients to themselves through the mirror of brand archetypes. We reacquaint them with their customers, in an effort to see if their brand archetype “speaks” to their customer.  More often than not, it’s one of those rare occasions when the storyteller in me takes a backseat and I become a fascinated spectator.

As the story unravels, the team starts rebuilding the story as a brand book. Very often, developing the brand book gives us a sense of accomplishment, making us a  part of an interesting journey. 

I guess that’s why we enjoy these excursions into your stories, dear client!

Want to know what happened to Kalyani Cheese?

Praseeda was determined to turn around the conversation about the name of the cheese brand.

Praseeda: Of course, Sir, but think of brands like paper boat. They might have flavours like Aamras, but their brand has a more universally appealing name, right?

To say that the meeting was interesting would be an understatement! We left after Mr. Namboodiri agreed to consider our suggestions for a different name. 

Each small win works. For the client and for us!

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