By David Muller, Founder and CEO of DCM Fabrication
In the debate about the cause and effect of business success, in this discussion about whether social media creates brands or enhances existing ones, I have a different answer: Origins matter less than originality of thought, and consistency of quality across all platforms – real and virtual; that the appearance we showcase to the public, the window display we design and construct as a way to attract customers, is an act of theater equal to the art and beauty we choose to promote on Facebook or Twitter, or on this mobile application or that interactive site.
I write these words based on the intensity of something more tangible than the soft keystrokes of writing on my smartphone or tablet.
I offer this commentary because of my work on behalf of a brand like The Frye Company, a premium – and longtime – maker of leather goods, bags, boots and accessories for men and women worldwide.
I celebrate this business because of its vision, for the good of the visionary displays it is my privilege to arrange and for the advantage of the online pages it is my honor to view and enjoy.
Therein lies the not-so-secret history of this retailer’s success: It understands that everything the customer sees, from the symmetry and positioning of products in an actual store to the posting of images of that “visual choreography,” to be shared, liked and distributed among friends and colleagues on social media, depends on this notion of branding as storytelling.
That concept may be new to some, but it is as old as time immemorial and as current as the latest trends in technology.
For, we are inherent narrators or listeners; we are the descendants of the great storytellers, and the guardians of an oral tradition about the travels and challenges of many a brave warrior and the traditions of a royal bloodline of beneficent kings and beautiful princesses.
We can imagine the sight of the campfire, and hear the sound of burning driftwood, while a wizened old man modulates his voice – he stands, with his arms extended, as if each hand holds sacred slabs of tablature – until he reaches a crescendo of Old Testament righteousness, only to slowly seat himself on a rock and whisper among his congregants.
Now, picture telling that story without words.
Rather, think of conveying that tale – within the physical dimensions of a retail environment, followed by a series of updates on social media – in which presentation influences everything.
That is social media of the highest order.
It is a statement of purpose, a symbol of expert craftsmanship and customized communication; the encapsulation of a commitment to excellence, in assorted colors of leather, brass, laces and straps.
The first task is to build it – to enliven the words of commerce with a more transcendent language of demonstration – so consumers will want to buy those boots, and post their own pictures of their respective purchases
The subsequent rewards accrue to those professionals with a stake in making a medium – including this one – a social destination.
With respect for the assignment, and with gratitude for the opportunity, we can be storytellers of global renown.
That social responsibility is one we accept.
It is a duty all companies should champion and cheer.