BRAND: THE HEART
The brand is the beating heart at the center of inspiration. In the same way that your heart pumps blood to the rest of your body, your brand pumps enthusiasm to every area of your marketing.
All parts of inspiration channel connection—specifically, how you connect to your members.
But it begins with making a heart-based connection with members. Connection doesn’t start in the logic center of brain: it starts in the heart. It starts in the emotional center. It starts when members connect to your WHY. They can’t make that connection if your brand isn’t radiating that WHY. Talking only about WHAT you do (speeches, certifications, training, tracks, networking) will inform your members—and for the die-hard members, that’s enough. But it won’t move the masses. And it definitely won’t inspire them.
This is why so many associations are in a permanent state of cardiac arrest. The enthusiasm isn’t flowing. The channels for inspiration are blocked—clogged with plaque, in the form of too much WHAT stuff.
Do a Heart Check
You can’t build a brand around something you’re not completely, 100 percent clear about.
And you can’t keep trying to build a heart from WHAT. You’ve got to go deeper to find the inspiration.
Before you launch any campaign, write any email, create any brandmark or event theme, grab a clean sheet of paper and fill in these blanks.
Inspiring your base starts with escaping the same old safe scripts and coming up with truthful, raw, and compelling answers to these questions. It means going to a more vulnerable, human place (we’ve noticed these are very uncomfortable places for associations to hang out).
Associations host events to change lives. So what IS that change? What happens at your event that can’t happen in the same way anywhere else? These first two questions on the list are deal-breakers. They’re elementary. But the third is actually where to start if you’re struggling. Because people will never miss what they can’t connect to in the first place. They won’t miss the difference that’s never pointed out to them.
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