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January 4th 2018

Be the reel deal in 2018

Over the Christmas break I was able to find a few days to go fishing on my beloved River Test. During one of the many tea breaks in the fishing hut I was asked by a fellow angler what I do for a living? He suggested that going fishing must be a million miles away from running a busy brand communications agency.

On the face of it he was right. But then I got to thinking and actually when you draw a comparison both worlds have a lot in common. I would go as far to say that instead of reading yet another book on brands, branding or marketing that you read “The Sea Trout” by Hugh Falkus. Now there’s a lesson in hope, expectancy, adversity and triumph.

Here are just a few parallels to feed your inquisition...

Understand your quarry

If you wish to catch a particular kind of fish you need to understand its behaviour and to do this you need to find out where it lives and study its feeding habits. In branding if you want to target a particular type of person you need to understand where they operate, what they want, when they want it and specifically why your product or service is ideal for them.

What’s the hook?

You need a hook to catch a fish. Brands need a hook – what’s the big idea that is going to pull them in?

Attract the fish’s attention

You won’t however catch a fish with a bare hook. Having done your homework into the feeding habits of a fish you set about catching it by offering it the appropriate bait. However, that’s not enough so you must throw in some free offerings to attract the fish’s attention. Once you know where and when to approach your intended customer you need to understand how you are going to do this. The number of different touch points places pressure on you to deliver content in a range of flexible formats. If you’ve done your homework you’ll know how they prefer to interact with you, where and when.

Try something different

Let’s assume you’ve had limited success using a particular method and whilst you’ve not caught the ‘whopper’ you’ve done okay, so surely success can only be a few casts away? It is the angler that thinks a little differently who will prevail. It’s easy for a brand to stick with something because it has worked before. Why change? The brands that are brave enough to be different will be the winners. Remember, if it looks like a good idea and feels like a good idea the chances are it is a good idea. Be brave, be different and go for it.

Make sure you’ve got the right equipment

You need the right tools for the job. You are not going to catch that prize Trout from a river using deep-sea gear. Your brand communications need to be fit for purpose.

The fisherman’s story

Honestly guvnor it were that big! The one that gets away is always at the very least twice the size by the time it reaches the pub. Nevertheless people will love to hear the story. It’s an over used maxim within branding that it’s “all about the story”, however there is a truth behind this. People love stories, so make yours interesting, compelling, consistent and unlike the angler in the pub, authentic.

Fishing is not called catching for a reason

To catch the fish of your dreams takes skill, determination, dedication and the ability to think differently. By following a well-thought strategy, being consistent in all you do, communicating your message creatively and daring to be different you are well on your way to the catch of a lifetime.

There’s one final ingredient that every angler needs and that is luck. On that note I wish the very best for you and your business in 2018.

Tight Lines!

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