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Tracking Wonder - Brand and Innovation April

Best Articles in Brand and Innovation for April

Tracking Wonder - Brand and Innovation April

Every month Tracking Wonder brings you some of the best articles from across the web that have stopped us in our tracks or given us pause to think and consider perspectives in creativity, brand, and innovation.

With help from Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros, I’ve gathered and curated some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence – all via storytelling, brand, and innovation. Read more

Tracking Wonder - Your Brand Story

Content Marketing: Ideas for Shaping Your Brand Story

Tracking Wonder - Your Brand Story

Image: Unsplash.com

If you can make people feel something you can generally grab their attention. Your brand story matters because your why is the powerful driving force getting you out of bed even on the days you’d rather roll over, ignore what needs to be done and binge watch Netflix.

It’s also a pretty compelling reason for other people to notice and ultimately invest in you, your book, your brand or business.

Whether it’s a personal story or the inspiration behind what drove you to create your business, story is what as humans, we’re wired to we resonate with deeply.

My work with clients involves lots of field research and study of models so we can iterate, emulate, and innovate. In a nut shell, see what works. Here are 3 surprising sources for inspiration for story I think you;re going to enjoy.

1. Johnny Walker

Yep, the bourbon. Actually, two German university students submitted this 90-second film on spec to the bourbon brand legend. Watch how it piques your curiosity, raises questions in you about the men’s relationship & who’s speaking, and where – if anywhere – they’re wandering.

The product isn’t the Story. The brand Story here is how the product is entwined in people’s lives, memories, and celebrations. Even the tough-minded are likely to shed a tear at the poetic script’s truth and beauty. In 90 seconds.

My questions to you: The next time you shoot a program or product video, how can you pique curiosity instead of being obvious? How is your product or program or service entwined in people’s lives for the better? You don’t need a 6-figure production budget.

2. Starbucks Upstander

Warning: There’s a not-so-subtle political drive behind these stories. Still, it’s an example of how real stories of real people can drive home a point. If your brand is justice-related or if you’re a social entrepreneur, take stock.

My question to you: How can you tell stories of “ordinary” people who are fulfilling a mission or the core values your brand stands for?

3. Jonathan Fields: One Author’s Quest to Plant 10,000 Trees

Jonathan combines his passion for nature with his quest for a good life in the “10,000 Tree Good Life Forest” Project. Here he tells the story of his book and his personal quest in a context that matters.

My questions to you: If you’re launching a book or product, what larger mission that might involve partnership or collaboration can you imagine? Tap into both your core values as well as the book’s or product’s content. Remember, your book is not your Story. It’s only a part of the brand Story you’re living.

If this blog speaks to you I invite you to join our The Tracking Wonder Quest Community. Our community is comprised of professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives, teachers, coaches, and consultants dedicated to doing Business As Unusual. I’d be pleased to have you join us.

Source: Unsplash

Learning: The New ROI

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

Whatever it is you’re building, creating, or advancing, when you think of your return on investment, weigh it on what you learn in the process. This is often over looked or not calculated into the final ROI at all.

Backstory

I laid out rows of three acorns on the lawn.

Me: “How many rows of three are there?”
7-year-old: “Foherr” (she rolls her ‘r’s as if she were French).
Me: “So, how much is 3 times 4?”
7-year-old: “Twelve!” Read more

Tracking Wonder - Brand Story Strategy

Content Marketing: Lead With Your Story

Tracking Wonder - Brand Story Strategy

How a local clinic and an alpaca farm benefited from brand story strategy.

I see a lot of businesses (as well as online entrepreneurs) make the same mistake when they build a website and venture into content marketing and social media. Business owners unintentionally bring old assumptions about advertising & marketing to online content and social media.

Traditional advertising is about pushing your product or services onto customers or potential customers.

The ads might be clever to get attention. You pay a premium for advertising and invest in expensive print collateral, and you just sort of hope somehow by virtue of advertising’s messenger pigeons that the right person will get the mail and show up at your door.

So what happens when a business owner steeped in traditional advertising and marketing ventures into the brave new world online? Read more

Image: Unsplash

Brand & Innovation Digest – February 2017

Image: Unsplash

Image: Unsplash

During the past month, Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros has curated some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence via brand building, storytelling, and innovation.

– Jeffrey, Chief Tracker at Tracking Wonder

Four Reasons Every Startup’s Brand Needs Attention

From Forbes.com
With a personal account and wealth of advice from an entrepreneur and investor, Kumar Arora nails down the four biggest priorities for startups building their business. Don’t wait to start building the brand culture, he says, even in the infancy of the business. Among the four priorities is making sure your brand has a carefully considered name, builds customer loyalty, remains a source of inspiration, and sets your business apart from the competition. Kumar Arora @karora007

Read more

world-globe

Brand/Innovation Digest – January 2017

world-globe

Research assistance from TW Team research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros.

Periodically Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros and I will curate some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence via branding, storytelling, and innovation.
– Jeffrey, Chief Tracker at Tracking Wonder

 

Connecting with People and Branding Comes Naturally

from The Times of India
In a media landscape of inauthentic messages, authentic branding will always rise above the noise, says Shubham Nagdeve. “Branding comes automatically when you connect with people,” Naresh Jakhotia reminds The Times of India. It’s through connection that a brand earns trust and defines its meaning. Small and large brands alike can benefit from genuinely connecting with clients to contribute value. Read more

vintage-music-business-shop

The Secret to Sales

vintage-music-business-shop

Selling well doesn’t come naturally to most people with good ideas. To most, it feels gimmicky and inauthentic and manipulative. But it doesn’t have to follow the usual big-loud-buzz formula. In fact, the secret to selling is all about your customer. In the piece below, I share the secret to sales as shown to me by the example of my father, a successful radio advertising salesman and marketer.

Read more

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Why DIY is a Lie for Entrepreneurs & Creatives

group-brainstorming1

Now perhaps more than ever we have access to more knowledge, more resources, more apps that empower us to take things into our own hands. We can create and manage our own websites. Write and publish our own books. Build our own businesses. You name it, there’s probably a way that you could find out how to do it yourself.

Here’s where we get trapped.

Just because you can download a logo design app doesn’t mean you are necessarily skilled to design your own logo.

Just because you can access WordPress or Foursquare and choose themes doesn’t mean you are necessarily skilled to design your own website.

You can write well enough to form coherent, clear, sometimes lyrical paragraphs, but does that equip you to write your best copy?

I can strum guitar chords good enough for sing-alongs with friends, but I would never produce and try to sell my covers of Bob Dylan.

I’m curious: Why do we settle for good enough not only for ourselves but, more, for the people whose lives we want to make better – our customers and communities?

Maybe we think that because we can kind of sort of figure things out on our own that we should do it on our own and that we are skilled “enough” to do so.

It will save us money, right? Maybe. But maybe not. Not if your doing so is consuming your finite time and effort. Not if what you produce actually does not bring back your best revenue.

DIY could waste you money and time.  Read more

Courtesy of Creative Commons

When to Update Your Website

Image: Sean MacEntee, Flickr, Rights reserved.

Image: Sean MacEntee, Flickr, Rights reserved.

To revise a website is an opportunity to dig in, check in, and get perspective. 

You get to dig into whom you’ve become. You check in on whom you’re engaging and elevating at your highest level. You get perspective on why what you do matters in our times.

Tracking Wonder’s Story constantly evolves as those elements – the founder, our community, our times – shift. 

So, too, for you one or more shifts might signal you to look again at the Story you or your business is living and how you are owning that Story through the way you communicate and engage your community, clients, and customers. Read more

Branding-Pull-Quote

Branding Accelerates Personal Expansion

Courtesy of Creative Commons (Rob Howard)

Courtesy of Creative Commons (Rob Howard)

You know something about your business and brand has to change. And maybe that something is you – how you regard branding, how you see yourself, how you hold back your business’s best potential.

Make you squirm?

You can attend a meditation retreat and get clarity on how jumbled your mind is. You can travel to a renowned center to explore your calling. You can take yoga classes to sweat your way to a calmer sympathetic nervous system.

Shaping a brand story can accelerate self-knowledge more quickly than a year of personal growth classes. (Tweet this if it resonates. Thanks.)

If you’ve experienced it, you know what I mean. Otherwise, you’re scratching your head.

Let me unpack what I mean. And there’s something else a little astonishing I’ve noticed, too. Read more