What exactly is it you're on about? I ask this question of clients sometimes. In a more polite way, obviously. In my experience clients rarely take kindly to blunt questions.
Jesus - span a good yarn.
Anyway, I was delighted by this post on Seth's blog, mainly because he articulated something that we have been talking to clients about. And it is a surprisingly difficult concept to get across. (How often do you waste time trying to work out what makes your client different, rather than what makes them better?)
From our (forthcoming) E*TRADE brand book -
Today, however, a brand
needs to engage the customer. They
need to be interesting. And saying the
same thing over and over and over
again isn’t interesting.
A great benefit of branding with the
story-telling approach is that the
principle does, indeed, encourage
simple clarity even in complex
situations.It does this by allowing
communications to consistently
come from the heart of a brand. A
well articulated and authentic story
platform maintains focus, which strips
away clutter. It can and should inform
everything a brand says and does.
In a similar vein, if you are going to get into social media (and who isn't? It's so hot right now) you need a clear story. Because you can't impose that A4 ring-binder of guidelines on youtube, or myspace, or facebook, or twitter. If someone slags you off on a messageboard, you can't get the PR department involved to formulate an "appropriate response". You have to know what it is that you're about, and get stuck in.