Lights Camera Action! Before your brand can hit the red carpet, there are a few questions to ask.
The Given Circumstances technique, is one of the most common ways an actor prepares for a role. It’s the practice of asking a series of questions to understand as much as you can about your character and their given circumstances. From start-ups to rebranding, this is a technique we as a Brand Purpose Agency use, and you can apply to your brand, to help deliver a star performance.
Here they are…
WHO AM I? As an actor you ask, what kind of person is my character? What has made me who I am today?
As a brand – What kind of brand are you? What is your personality? What do customers think of you? How do they see you? How do you see yourself?
Beyond the product you make eg: “we make sticky tape” – how did you get to making sticky tape, what shaped that journey, why do you make sticky tape? How is your sticky tape different? Is that all you make or want to make?
WHERE AM I? As an actor you ask, where your character physically is, in the scene? What or who is around me? How do I feel about them? Am I by the ocean? If so am I afraid because I can’t swim, am I in awe, am I excited, do I want to jump in? As a brand, you can ask the same. Where are you in the market? What events are going on around you with your competitors, customers in the news etc. How does that effect your brand? How does that affect you or influence your brand? How can you take advantage of the situation?
WHEN IS IT? As an actor, you ask what time of day/year / season etc it is in your scene? Where your character has just come from, where they are going after this scene? As a brand the same questions are relevant. Where have you come from to get to today, and where are you going? How does your past and what is happening right now affect your brand tomorrow?
WHAT DO I WANT? As an actor, these are key questions. They drive your OBJECTIVES. A character might have distractions or obstacles, but they must have a desire, want, or need to do something, say something, be somewhere. This is what drives the scene and action. As a brand, this is equally as important. What are your brand’s immediate objectives – needs, desires? These must feed into your main objective – your overall objective or goal. All brands must know what they are. Make them clear and simple and do everything to achieve them. This defines your brand.
WHY DO I WANT IT? This is the JUSTIFICATION or MOTIVATION for an actors’ objective. A reason for doing it, wanting it, needing it. What’s your brand’s reason or motivation to achieve its objective? Making money, or selling are the first thoughts, but you need to look beyond that and ask – why do you do what you do?
If you can answer this, you will find real purpose to build your brand on. And that is powerful.
HOW WILL I GET IT? What an actor does to get their OBJECTIVE is called an ACTION. They may beg, plead, tease, threaten, seduce and so on. When an actor tries a few and goes for the less obvious actions it becomes more interesting and entertaining. What actions will your brand take to get its objectives? Have you looked at all the ways you can get there? Tried new ways? Be inventive.
WHAT MUST I OVERCOME? An actor asks what are my OBSTACLES, what is in my way of reaching my OBJECTIVES? There are always obstacles – that’s life. Its what makes trying to get your objective as an actor in a scene interesting. You see it lots in comedy, suspense and horror films. Brand wise – what is it that is delaying you, stopping you, hindering you, getting in the way of your objective? Now how do you get around it, change it, what do you have to adjust… to get there? What can you do differently?
WHAT’S AT STAKE IF I DON’T GET WHAT I WANT? As an actor, the greater the stakes the more interesting the performance. Usually, your life or the life of someone you love is regarded as the biggest “stake” in acting. They can also be related to lovers, money, friends, jobs, respect etc. Brand wise – what will happen if you don’t get your objective? Do you give up? Or do you turn up the passion and energy and put your heart and soul into it. Try new things, different things to get your objective.