Your Brand Isn’t the Hero

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12-6-2013 | By: Stephen Mick

There’s nothing quite as annoying as someone who just can’t stop talking about themselves. You know who I’m talking about. “Did I tell you about…?” “Have you seen the latest pictures of…?” “On Twitter, you know I’ve got like 5000 followers?”

When you run into people like this in a social setting, you run like hell, lest you risk getting sucked into their web of self-involved noise. The truth is, unless your last name is Clooney, DeGrasse-Tyson, or Winfrey, nobody wants to hear you drone on for an hour about who you are and what you do.

Content is a conversation, and a gifted conversationalist knows to spend as much time listening as talking. Your brand should be smart enough to know when to shut up.

Sadly, most of them don’t. They want to tell you how interesting they are, how important they are to your life, and how your existence just isn’t the same without them. They want to be the hero of your story.

Suggested Read:  Begin with "What If?"

But your story already has a hero: you. The clichéd “brand as hero” approach is flawed simply because the role of hero is already filled by the audience. They might adore your product, evangelize your brand, or even worship your company in a sense, but there just isn’t enough room in their journey for a second hero. There is, however, always room for a supporting player who can help the hero reach his goal. That’s where your brand comes in.

"Show the audience you get what they’re about."What you really need to focus on is making your audience the hero of your story, with support from your brand. Stop telling them how interesting your brand is. Instead, do something interesting, and make your audience part of it. Quit talking at your fans, and invite them in to be part of the conversation.  Show the audience you get what they’re about , that you’re part of their world, and you’d like to help them make it better.

Here are a couple of examples of brands who are clearly connected to their audiences, and how they use content that invites the audience in to be a part of the story.

 

Great content is not about delivering your unique selling proposition, your key brand messaging, or the not-as-clever-as-you-think-it-is copy stuffed into your script. It’s about knowing what your audience, your core group of true believers wants and needs, and finding ways for your brand story to connect with those wants and needs.

What brands should really be doing is helping their audience be the hero of their own story. Create content that does that, and your audience will always be captivated.


About the Author

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Stephen Mick

Stephen brings with him more than a decade of creative marketing and broadcast production experience. He has worked with some of the largest advertising firms in the country, and with a long list of forward-thinking brands, including many Fortune 500 companies. At his core, Stephen is a storyteller and his work, from commercials and short films to long-form documentary projects, is proof of this commitment to story. Stephen is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, in addition to attending culinary school in Chicago. He’s not sure which one has been more useful in the real world, but his wife would tell you it's the latter.

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