"Forging" Business and Brand Identity Through Bio's- Asking the "Why" Rather Than The "What" It Is.
Any marketeer will give you the advice that "brand identity" is the single, most important tool any business, whether established or start-up, that you can have in your arsenal. And to a certain degree, I agree with this statement, however, I recently began to listen carefully to my peers who had taken steps, like me recently, into self-employment and starting up their own businesses. When your doing your own marketing at the beginning the challenge and temptation is to cut through the noise, to stand above your competitors, to put your hand in the air, and let people know you are there. This always seems the right thing to do, doesn't it? To tell the world what you do and to flood their senses with cool images, clever headlines, slogans, and a demonstration that you have some real slick photoshop skills! We have witnessed centuries of global brands that we now identify with single, simple slogans and logos so why don't we go straight there, sell an image and a glossy version of the products that we sell?
I rediscovered (I can't claim I am the originator of this idea) that story, much like in the biographies that I write with my artists is also a powerful marketing tool for business, and instead of telling the reader "what" we are it was time to tell our customers "who" we are.
The missing piece of the puzzle was staring me straight in the eye, I'd spent months stressing on what to put across as a business, the choices of articles, images, and the "this is what I do" and what I should have been doing and have done ever since is explored the "why do I do this?" and who am I serving, what are my true motivations? As soon as this occurred to me adjusting the question that I was asking myself, I was able to understand how I could help other businesses establish their brand identity but now with more clarity and brand definition. From this point, a business can confidently create visual branding ideas, targeted campaigns and have a clear grasp on their motivations and who their customer is, what they look like and how they behave.
A recent example of this, a testimonial, came from a music business client of mine, John Craig of The Forge Music Group. He is a great ideas guy, a thinker, and takes a lot of positive action on behalf of the people he works with. You'll see John at gigs, quietly standing in the background and if you are in a meeting with him he's very much in the driving seat. However, did we ever stop to ask why he looks after so many people, why he cares, what his motivations are in an attempt to get to understand the entrepreneur behind the brand?
This is what John had to say about his experience working with me and the final product, we managed to achieve a complete identification of his rationale, his values, and intention for his business in a powerful, engaging story.
I recently went through a process of trying to evaluate just what ‘The Forge Music Group’ is as an entity, what are we and what do we stand for. The fact was that no matter how hard I tried, as the Founder of the business I was simply too ‘close’ to it to be able to do this, so at that point, I decided to enlist some assistance.
When it came to deciding who that would be, it was an obvious choice and that was Adam Hayward of ‘ Hayward Media Coaching Services‘ after all, he has done such a sterling job of this with a fair number of our ‘ Forge’ bands plus he is someone that I trust implicitly, so it really was the archetypal ‘ no brainer.’
After two sessions of two hours where Adam simply asked questions and drilled down into every aspect of who I am, what drives me etc he came up with this:-
The FORGE MUSIC GROUP began with a single and simple idea to do the right thing well. This is based on the foundation of KNOWLEDGE, TRUST, DILIGENCE, and HONESTY to support and champion emerging talent and continue that throughout their career.
FOUNDER/DIRECTOR JOHN CRAIG’s singular desire was to encourage artists to become leaders in their industry by giving them the right tools and right information to make the right decisions. FORGE gives artists the opportunity to learn from their peers in a safe space and try new ideas; a progressive organisation doing extraordinary things.
“My role, to date has been to steer our artists and to give them the tools to find their way through the myriad of options that they face every day. This is not about me being in the limelight, it’s about doing the right thing, even on a bad day when no one is watching. This is about their career, not mine”.
With a strong LEADERSHIP background serving in the Armed Forces and then in Operations, Sales and Marketing, John has always depended on and lived by the principles of his CORE VALUES.
Throughout his highly successful career's, John always enjoyed music. First, as a musician, singing in various bands and performing, and then as his work career developed, with less time to travel, he remained a stalwart of his local scene. PASSION and COMMITMENT are both important characteristics and having natural leadership skills he felt that he could and should do more.
“A desire to do the right thing has stayed with me throughout my career's, short term gain has never appealed to me. For me, it is about building strong relationships, trust, and solid service delivery. Simply doing what you say you’re going to do”.
On the principles of KNOWLEDGE, TRUST, DILIGENCE, and HONESTY we now look towards the growth of opportunities and remain on the leading edge of current and future initiatives.
FORGE MUSIC MANAGEMENT sees themselves as the facilitators for progress, not the gatekeepers of valuable information and enabling bands to get ahead. FORGE now wants artists to have all the information in front of them; to advise and assist to make sensible decisions based on knowledge and experience. The commitment and intention are in the name, to” FORGE” trusted relationships with a view to a successful career in music.
“I’ve always believed in the principle that if you chose a job you love then you never have to work a day in your life. Music and working with musicians is something that makes me happy and I enjoy every day because of that”.
In only four hours I believe that Adam got straight to the heart of who and what we are and not only that, the bio he produced is not only superbly written, it has also given me a much clearer vision of who I am, what ‘we’ are and the way forward for ‘The Forge Music Group.’
If you find yourselves at that same point as I was at the end of 2021 when I wanted to really understand what I/we stood for, and as equally important, how we can convey this, then I highly recommend Adam to anyone. John Craig-Managing Director- The Forge Music Group
Robert McKee, Screenwriter once wrote "Any intelligent person can sit down and make lists. It takes rationality but little creativity to design an argument using conventional rhetoric. But it demands vivid insight and storytelling skills to present an idea that packs enough emotional power to be memorable. If you can harness imagination and the principles of a well-told story, then you get people rising to their feet amid thunderous applause instead of yawning and ignoring you".
Businesses have a real opportunity to make a true impact on their customers, to share a piece of themselves beyond the transaction, and build long-lasting relationships.