How to Use the Core Story Principle to Build Brand Value

What is a core story?

If your communication doesn’t match up with your brand values, your stakeholders will not understand your brand’s offering, and there will be a gap between your brand’s external image and your company’s internal identity. Using a core story is a strategic way of aligning your communication to create a consistent message about your brand.

Your core story is your central brand message and the basis of all your communication. The aim of using a core brand story is to close any gap there might be between your brand’s external image and your company’s internal identity and ultimately building your brand’s value. The story should be relevant and appealing to all of your stakeholders, so they are drawn to it and want to connect with you, your brand and your company.

What are the benefits of using a core story to communicate your brand values?

The benefits of using a core brand story include:
- A platform for basing the rest of your storytelling (and other) communication on, resulting in consistent communication of brand values
- An easy and efficient way of communicating your brand values and your company’s mission and vision
- Stakeholders easily understanding and becoming drawn to connect with your brand values and company
- A way of aligning, enhancing and communicating your marketing and communication strategy
- A way of differentiating your brand and business and standing out from the competition
- A way of engaging your stakeholders in the brand story, resulting in more positive psychological co-creation and word of mouth

Where do you “find” your core story?

The most important criteria for your core brand story is that it must be authentic – either based on an authentic personal story (like what motivated you to start your own company), or an authentic problem (like using fictional characters to illustrate the problem you are solving through your services). A good start on a core brand story for a small company or solopreneur is why you got started in the first place, what your values are and what your mission is with your company – basically your about page on your website.

However, for bigger and/or older companies, more people have had an influence on the brand and have helped co-create the brand through interacting with it. Therefore, the bigger the company, the more stakeholders you want to involve before creating your story. Consumers, customers, employees and others can be involved in creating the story. Through listening to these stakeholder groups’ stories about their experiences with the brand (for example customer reviews), you can create an authentic co-created story that includes the internal culture and external experiences with the brand. Involving a lot of stakeholders in creating your core brand story will also be effective in lessening the gaps in external image and internal identity.

How do you use your core story to communicate your brand values?

Think of your core story as a way to direct the rest of your communication. The articles you retweet on Twitter, share on Facebook or LinkedIn are more valuable to your brand if they have something in common with it (making retweeting web design articles more valuable if you are a web designer). The blogposts you create should establish you as a form of expert in your field of service, in turn making your brand and service more valuable and attractive. Your goal should be to communicate valuable, meaningful and interesting messages about your brand, that your stakeholders can connect with. Basically, before communicating with your stakeholders, you want to make sure that your message is consistent with your story and brand values, so as not to confuse your stakeholders about your brand.

By the way

Fog, Budtz and Yakaboylu (2004) have written a whole book (Storytelling – Branding in Practice) about how to find and use your core brand story, written for larger companies.

Project Management – Mingling Technical And Human Skills

A project manager has to use technical and human resource management skills in tandem. It is important for a manager to be able to effectively communicate with people who are often at opposing ends of the process.Project Management is as much about managing people as much about the job. Companies usually promote people to the supervisory positions based on their knowledge of the task and their performance. But project management is about the ability to get the best out of the people. A manager’s job is to manage the projects as well as the people working on them.A manager needs to be well versed in the technical aspects of a job. He should know how to put the pieces together to produce the complete thing. This ability would enable him to come up with the right kind of plan to get the project done. He would be able to take care of the routine technical nuances and guide the team through these. Anyone who has received quality technical training, has enough exposure and possesses analytical skills, can take care of the project part.However, for being a good manager, one has to supplement the technical skills with soft skills as well. To put it simply, a manager must be able to effectively communicate with people. Now, dealing with people is many times more complicated than dealing with a technical issue. One needs to possess top notch soft skills to excel as manager. You need to communicate with your team members, your seniors and maybe the clients as well. You ought to know how to balance their expectations, which would most probably be at the opposite ends.If a manager is adept in managing projects but lacks adequate management skills, targets would be met but unwillingly and usually full of errors. An inept manager would fail to motivate employees to work effectively. Employees dissatisfied with their job would not work to the full of their ability, and this would influence the quality of the project. For quality work, it is necessary to keep the employees’ dedication levels at the optimum. A manager with top-notch skills would know how to get the job done in the best possible manner.A manager has to use technical and soft skills in tandem to get the best possible results. If a manager effectively manages projects as well as people, it would churn out peak performance producing the highest quality task. The best approach for a manager would be to manage the projects through people. They need to recognise that manpower is valuable and it needs to be retained and encouraged to get good results.Usually, project managers are involved in a project from inception to the closing phase. They have to draw a detailed plan regarding the completion of the project. If they make the best use of the available human resources, they would be able to complete the project in timely and efficient manner. They also need to demonstrate problem solving and decision making skills. They have to make decisions during the execution of the project, some related to the project while some to people associated with it. He must be able to take reasonable decisions after analysing problems and issues, listing out possible solutions, picking up the best option and implementing it to manage a project.One can undertake professional project management training courses to hone the skills needed for executing a project. These courses are specifically designed keeping in view the challenges faced by managers at work, thus helping one to develop as a valuable human asset of the company.

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