Unleash Greatness

Well-Crafted Potential

By Rob Hawse

The well-crafted brand invokes feelings of trust, purpose and completeness. Not only for customers but also for everyone responsible for creating that product or service and the experiences that flow with it and from it.

Well-crafted is the sum of conscious decisions and relentless extra effort. It is unique attributes, stories, and processes that compose a brand identity that is as unique as a fingerprint.

Well-crafted brands know who they are and what they stand for.

Well-craftedness, or the potential to become so, is inherent to every brand. Few leaders, however, aren’t aware of this, or if they are deny or suppress it because they don’t have the wherewithal to uncover, embrace and celebrate their brand’s unique identity…its true purpose…or why it exists.

The problem is that unless you are grounded in why your brand exists, the only way you’ll feel safe talking about it is to mirror what your competitors are saying about their brands. Keep in mind, most of your competitors don’t know what makes their stuff special either.

Connecting to and embracing what makes your brand well-crafted and sharing that openly is what enables others to see how unique and special it really is – and why it’s the most obvious choice.

This is not a marketing platitude. Your ability to connect, embrace and celebrate what’s well-crafted about your brand is the key to true differentiation and the ability of your brand (through your efforts) to communicate its meaning and value to everyone it touches.

A few examples:

  • Yeti Coolers. A Yeti is forever. It keeps ice for days. It foils the hungriest grizzly. Not only is Yeti everything you ever dream of in a cooler, it also is a ton of things you don’t even know to dream about – until you see one.
  • Lie-Nilsen “heirloom” hand planes, made with metal castings from New England foundries and wood from Maine sawyers. Meticulously hand crafted at their shop in Maine by a troop of 90 local craftsmen – and guaranteed for life.
  • Singer, whose name has been synonymous with sewing, since 1851. Singer sewing machines have been the means of creative expression with fabric for generations and its machines can last half a century – or more.

Curious about what might be well-crafted about your brand? We invite you to clear an afternoon, open your mind and go looking for the unexpected.

A few ideas:

  • Arrange for a long-time employee to give you a plant tour, someone who doesn’t usually do it. Ask them to point out unique processes or special talents. What do they think makes your company and products special? What do they think matters most to the customers? Is it the same or different from what you think? How does it compare to what marketing and sales is saying?
  • Take another look at the company history page on your website. Does the content convey the stability of your company through stories that illustrate how you’ve met and overcome adversity time and again and successfully changed with the times? If all your company history page has to offer visitors is a few old photographs and a chronological list of events, you’re missing a golden opportunity to show and tell people who you really are.
  • Poke around different departments to see what the customers’ experiences are around research, purchase, support and service of your products (i.e., the customer journey). What you want to find out is whether the quality of that customer journey is on par with the quality of your products. Prospects and customers will assume they are, it’s vital that you meet those expectations if you want to keep their business.

Customers and distributors (like you) are inundated with tons of choices right now, none of which seem very different. To be the one who gets the nod, you must be able to clearly communicate the true meaning and value of your brand along with what it will bring to those decision makers. Following it with a well-crafted customer journey will ensure they’ll continue to say yes to your brand for a good long time to come.

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