As a storyteller, I am always searching for new sources of inspiration. That’s how I can tell good stories, and design good brand experiences for my clients.
I’ve been watching an inspiring series of documentaries, ‘Chef’s Table’, on Netflix. The TV docu-series spotlights some of the most remarkable chefs de cuisine in the world. They have been also doing something different and innovative.
Listening to what one of the chefs had to say, triggered some brand thinking:
There is a real advantage to creating a cuisine, a menu where the vectors do not all point at you, at the chef. Where the food you’re eating or the place you are at points out to something larger, a restaurant that has an overriding message and purpose. It is about something.”
Dan Barber, celebrated chef, dedicated farmer and food industry revolutionary, has an interesting approach to his work as a chef. He’s been leading a fight to change the way we think about, and grow, our food. I think we all have a lot to learn from his vision.
The way he sees how a chef can change the world for good, has been defining his brand, and his business brand. The most interesting aspect about it, though, is that he wasn’t looking to put the spotlight on himself.
When your surrounding community defines what your brand is about – not the brand manager or the brand owner – you have a solid advantage in your hands. Because brands are created in people’s mind – not in a restaurant, or in a factory, or in a farm.
Brands are stories, brands are experiences. Brands are not logos. Logos are graphic signs. If you design or redesign your logo, you are not redefining or managing your brand. The logo is a nice foundation, and it’s an identifier. But it’s not the brand. A brand is not necessarily visual. It’s a promise of an experience.
A brand is a code. There’s always been some sort of code. People attach themselves to a code that signifies to others, “I’m in this group. This is my tribe. That’s the story in what I believe in.”
When customers have the opportunity to be part of your vision and your battle for good, they have memorable moments to share, and great stories to tell about your business and your brand.
That is reverse branding. That is the present and the future of branding.
When you invest time and energy to create great moments for your customers and community, the most mundane transaction can be turned into a remarkable experience.
Stories are what make people build a relationship with each other. Give people a reason to talk about you. We pay far more attention to recommendations from friends, family, and even strangers than we do to advertisements. Don’t get caught up in controlling the message. Instead, do things that are worthy of passing along.
Do you have a story to share? Be my guest. I would love to be inspired by one of your stories.
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