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Behind The Scenes of Us Building a Brand

Recently we hired a brand consultant to help us nail down how we describe what our software does. Join me as I take you behind the scenes of how to build a brand that people remember.

Big Ideas

Consultation with Lara McCullough [0:15]

We recently spent thousands and thousands of dollars to hire an awesome brand consultant, Lara McCulloch, to help us nail down the messaging around our software, Searchie. Searchie has been around for about a year, and we now have more than 2,000 customers. Over that one year period, Searchie has evolved dramatically. It’s replacing not only transcription and video hosting services, but a whole lot of other things too. It’s giving you the ability to create an unbelievable content experience that’s going to allow your people to learn on a level that has not been seen before.

As such, we knew that we needed to find a faster, easier way to succinctly describe what Searchie does so that people get it, and so that it’s easy for them to share it with friends, family and colleagues. Lara walked us through a whole bunch of interactive exercises, and we began to get real clear about what Searchie is, about the impact it’s going to have not only on our customers but on the people that our customers serve, and we got a lot of clarity around the importance of the brand itself and the role it plays in the way people perceive what we do and their connection to it.

Connect to a Cause That’s Meaningful to You [11:27]

Step number one, you need to connect to a cause that’s meaningful to you. We’re so grateful because there have been some incredible entrepreneurs who have taken Village Impact under their wing and have created campaigns and promotions to help raise money for our cause. At the end of the day, your audience is going to resonate with you. The more connected you are to a cause that you’re passionate about, the more success that campaign or that promotion will be.

Narrative, but also Anti-Narrative [3:19]

First and foremost, one of the big lessons I got from Lara was that the narrative is important, but so is the anti-narrative. As an example, what immediately popped into mind for us is that Searchie enables you to create a tailored experience for the people that you are teaching. So, people can see content that’s relevant to them based on their interest, behaviors, and what they’re consuming. It’s a completely different experience. Now, what’s the anti-narrative of that? The anti-narrative is a cookie-cutter experience. Most platforms offer a one size fits all experience, meaning it doesn’t matter what stage your people are in, they’re all going to have the exact same experience. Do you think that your people would have more success with a cookie-cutter experience or a tailored experience that meets them with the content that is most relevant for them?

Brand Essence [5:23]

The second big lesson I got from Lara was the importance of creating your brand essence. The brand essence is made up of three components – your consumer, your market, and your company. As it relates to your consumer, we want a brand that enables consumers to see what they can become, like it’s meaningful to them. If the brand doesn’t matter to them, there’s no connection.

We also want a brand that’s going to be unique as it relates to the market. We don’t just want the same as everybody else. And then as it relates to the company, it’s got to be authentic to you. There’s no point in trying to have a fun-loving brand if you’re not really the fun-loving type. And there’s no point having a serious buttoned-down brand if that’s not your MO either.

The Story [6:53]

The third big takeaway that I got from Lara is the story, particularly the customer story. Lara asked a powerful question, “How does Searchie change the story in your customer’s mind?” That gave me a lot to think about. For example, you hear me talk about the cookie-cutter experience versus the tailored experience. One of the stories that might be happening in the customers’ mind is, how do I do that? That technology sounds complicated, how am I going to be able to create a tailored experience for each of my members based around their interest, behavior, and consumption? Well, the way Searchie changes that story in their mind is that it makes it simple and easy.

Another story that might be in the customers’ mind is that creating this tailored experience is going to take a lot of time. Well, Searchie changes that story by showing them how to do it in less than three minutes. You can see how the story is really important, and really what the story is about, common objections or thoughts that are going to prevent your audience from moving forward with your product or service. We really want to change that story to something that your customers are going to feel empowered by.

Think about Your Competitors [8:43]

Along those lines, Lara posed another question, “What story can you tell that your competitors can’t?” This got me fired up, because Searchie enables you to bring all of these different multimedia experiences together to create an amazing learning environment. Other people and other competitors can’t do that because they’re built on old technology that is very rigid and one size fits all, and it requires a complete reinvention of their entire framework for what they created. But because Searchie has started in a completely different way with a completely different focus, utilizing new advanced technology, it creates new powers and abilities. That gives us a story that we can tell that our competitors can’t.

Memorable Quote

“Your brand should be meaningful to the consumer, unique in the market, and authentic to you as a company.” – Stu McLaren


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