“Don’t say you’re funny. Tell a joke”
The best way to communicate your desired brand positioning is not to say what you stand for but rather do something to demonstrate this. When a comedian like Michael McIntyre coms on stage he doesn’t say, “Hi, I’m a really funny guy here to entertain you.” He comes on stage and tells a joke. Actions speak louder than words.
A good example of this comes from St Christopher’s, a charity that helps create brighter futures for young people via children’s homes, 16+ services and fostering. Working as a trustee to help the senior leadership team is some of the most fulfilling work I’ve done in my career. At the heart of ‘The St Christopher’s Way’ is active participation of young people in the running of the charity, to help them create the services they need but also to equip them with life skills. For example, young people interview candidates applying for management jobs in the charity; they are involved in helping design and build the new website; and they helped create and acted in a film to promote the charity in a project called The Wrap.
But my favourite example of active participation in action is a lovely poem created recently by some of the young people, called You Make a House a Home. They wrote this about the amazing people from St Christopher’s who help give kids who have had a difficult start in life to get a break, build life skills and achieve their full potential. However, when I saw the poem and accompanying picture it hit a nerve with me and rang true in my life. So, with the help Peter and Fiona at Have a Gander we’ve turned the poem into a poster that is for sale on their Etsy site: here.
In conclusion, when trying to communicate the positioning of your product, service, organisation or even yourself as a leader, consider taking a leaf out of St Christopher’s book. Rather than saying what you stand for, demonstrate it with actions. To use another quote, “People will doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.”
The wording goes like this:
Anyone can give you walls and a roof
But that’s not a home.
Not bricks and bricks and bricks.
It’s something more.
It’s not quiet or neat.
A real home is filled with noise,
And wears its life’s scars proudly on its walls.
The sounds and marks of memories being formed.
A home is where things happen,
where people shape their lives.
All the ups and downs.
Screaming matches, exam results, birthday cake, lost tracksuits.
This is family,
Not one tied together by blood,
It’s something different,
A special, happy closeness.
It isn’t always easy and doesn’t happen fast.
It’s in the sharing of the little things.
Cups of tea, car rides, our favourite tv shows, photo albums,
a fast game of snap, silly dancing in the kitchen.
It’s in the jokes, the smiles, the comforting hugs and quiet talks.
It’s inside you.
And when I’m long gone, I’ll think about you all,
knowing you still think of me.