Rumi and branding? Any link?
Well, yes and no.
Not that the ancient sage was deliberately writing a guidebook for brand managers, but that doesn’t discount how well-suited his poetry is for branding experts.
And very much like his verses, branding too seems simple to the uninitiated.
Modern day branding is a well thought mosaic of ethos, experience and a product or service that connects with audiences, and leaves a lasting impression rather than being about just a purchase.
How can your brand also create a lasting impression on its audience – just as Rumi’s age-old verse can, even today? Let’s consider some branding lessons that we can borrow from Rumi’s poetry.
1. Tell An Honest Brand Story
“There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life.
There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine.
O traveler, if you are in search of That
Don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek That.”
Even before your marketing team pulls out the buyer persona or conducts an infamous meeting postering your target audience; you need to narrate your brand story. And an honest brand story.
As Rumi expresses, “Don’t look outside, look inside yourself and seek that.”
The same applies to brands.
Google’s story isn’t that of the greatest thing to happen to humans, but that of what the ambitions of two college goers can create.
This is an example of how your brand story should be… real, simplistic and full of possibilities.
2. Let yourself be drawn to a force you can’t explain. Once done, know it’s your mission.
“Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stronger pull of what you truly love.
It will not lead you astray.”
Brand must announce the mission they love and it will help them stay focused.
Brand mission statements are important. Sometimes, more than the founders themselves can imagine.
A mission statement conveys your brand’s purpose in a straightforward and unambiguous manner.
Apart from delivering your purpose, it tells your employees why they’re coming to work everyday.
Coca-Cola’s Mission Statement is ‘to refresh the world… to inspire moments of optimism and happiness… to create value and make a difference.’
Google’s mission statement is ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’
Coca cola expresses a feeling they wish to inspire in their customers while Google defines its agenda. However, both have purposes. One wants to provide a feeling while the other wants to provide a solution.
So, re-evaluate your mission statement. Is it simple? Is it unambiguous? Is it relatable? Is it virtuous?
Need more help from Rumi? Read these 10 quotes.
3. Make a Memorable Brand Moodboard
“Close your eyes,
fall in Love,
Extract: Make your customer fall in love with your brand identity; create a brand mood.
Your audience should be able to identify your brand by your brand identity and should resonate with the brand mood.
Think of this. What does the McDonald’s jingle do for you?
“Ba-da-ba-ba-baaa… I’m lovin’ it”
You’re seriously considering a Big Mac now.
But, is it just that? Nope. It’s everything as a package, the logo, the colours, the audio, the service and the content.
That’s what Rumi’s branding lesson might teach us, implying that branding experts create effective brand moodboards.
4. It’s okay not to fall into a category. Create brand experiences that are non-conformists in a good way.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
Let the beauty of the brand be enjoyed in its product/service. But, impress your customer with hundreds of experiences.
What do you feel when you walk into an I-store or a luxury store like Gucci, Chanel or so.
The elegant display, the experience of sampling a perfume or trying your hands on an i-pad allows you to be in the present. When you’re at any of these stores as a customer, you’re busy experiencing.
This is what branding experts don’t let go. Even if they have a quality product, they create memories for their customers.
Be it the store, packaging, logo or even the carry bag; Customer experiences take brands a long way.
Engage the customer in experiences rather than talking sales.
5. Branding is everything; don’t shy away from investing more time and money in it.
“You are not a drop in the ocean
you are the entire ocean in a drop.”
Branding is everything; it’s the complete deal.
As Rumi says – “You are the entire ocean in a drop.” Brand management is no different.
Brand management is to establish branding first and then re-do it every day consistently.
Every detail counts. Branding professionals must ensure that customers get a wholesome experience every time they interact with a brand.
For example: Victoria Secret’s carry bags are a rage among young girls. Despite being just a carry bag, the pink and white striped bag grab eyeballs and shoppers love the experience.
VS certainly knows that, this is why they consistently come up with collections of pink and attractive presentations. This attracts young girls to buy products not just for the quality but also for the love of how they look.
Therefore, if you are a branding professional, you need to unlearn sounding salesy and focus on creating brand experience.
In addition to this, let’s highlight what we borrowed from Rumi about some of the best branding practices:
- Be real and authentic about who you are as a brand?
- Be straightforward about what you do?
- Include experiences while branding rather than sales pitches
- Set a brand mood
- Let your customers fall in love with your brand identity.
By taking these fine measures you will be able to effectively brand your company, elegantly. Timelessly.