Great brands know how to share. I’m not talking about letting us know about their most recent product rollout or sharing the latest news about their organization. I’m talking about the kind of sharing that delivers surprise and delight. Like sharing know-how. Or better yet, sharing something that entertains while it enlightens us. Or maybe even something that inspires. Brands that know how to do this are the ones that elevate themselves above the sea of sameness that most brands flounder in.
Offering vs. sharing
The default setting for most brands is not (unfortunately) to share.
Sales manager: “We share.”
Me: “Is that so?”
Sales manager: “We share our full product line. We share our latest special. We share the opportunity to buy now. Shall I go on?”
Me: “No, you’ve shared enough.”
Telling me about what you want to sell to me is not sharing. That’s offering. Don’t get me wrong, offering is important. But only after the prospect would like to be offered whatever it is you have. Until that point, all your offering starts to feel pushy and even aggressive.
So what do you do until that prospect is ready for you to offer? You share.
How to share
First things first. Sharing is a selfless act. If your first reaction is ‘what’s this going to get me?’, your attempts at sharing are going to be inauthentic. Your prospects will sniff this out. And you’ll end up doing more harm than good when it comes to your brand. But if you approach it with a servant-like attitude, you’ll discover prospects engaging with you in ways that no marketing or selling can achieve. So let’s look at the 3 ways your brand can begin to share
- Educate — help those you hope to serve with know-how and tools to solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. Offer a free tutorial. Create a guide. Or develop a tool related to the industry you serve that would be useful to prospects. Look at the knowledge you have within your organization and then find ways to generously share that knowledge.
- Entertain — people engage with brands that they know and like. If you want them to like you, find ways to help them smile. It can be a funny story but it can also be something that prompts them to think — like a quiz. But, make sure it’s relevant to the people and industry you serve. If you entertain just to be entertaining, it could end up just confusing people.
- Inspire — this may be the most powerful thing your brand can do. Help people see how they can better life for themselves. Share a story or show them how they can be part of your purpose and make life better for those around them. Help people feel like they matter. Give them hope. And help them see the difference they can make.
I’ll say it again. Great brands know how to share. It’s time to look at what you do and what you have and discover what your brand can share.
Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations clarify their unique, undeniable, and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.
Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on April 23, 2021.