It's time for some real-talk.
In this post, we take a peek behind the curtains to explore my operating principles and ethos for my video company, Brand Stories™.
1. Why are we even in this business?
If you're familiar with Simon Sinek's popular book 'Start With Why', you'll understand why we're starting here.
Contrary to what most people assume, I did not start this business because of a passion for filmmaking or video production. In fact, my entire professional background is actually in digital marketing, including working at some of Western Canada's most prominent tech companies (Clearly.ca, Indochino, Unbounce, BrainStation).
Instead, I started this business out of pure frustration and necessity.
Throughout my entire career, it was proven time and time again just how impactful video was for the overall health and success of a business. At Unbounce, we used video in every stage of the marketing funnel, from awareness and sales, to onboarding and training, to customer success and retention.
"...I can confidently say that video played a huge role in the success of Unbounce."
We used video so much that we ended up hiring two phenomenal videographers full-time. In fact, I can confidently say that video played a huge role in the success of Unbounce. But when I moved out of the SaaS/tech sector and joined a digital agency, it became extremely clear how underutilized video was for most businesses.
Most brands that we worked with had little to no video content. That means they were missing huge opportunities to explain their products, nurture their clients, speed up their processes, close more sales and improve efficiency in their businesses.
I started interviewing local businesses to learn why they weren't using video. I asked business owners, surveyed brands and researched available video options. For most businesses, hiring a local video company was either way too expensive, way too complicated - or worst of all - extremely ineffective.
I even talked to business owners that paid video companies $20k+ to create "cinematic" videos that had absolutely no impact on their bottom line. Can you imagine that? Spending $20k on a single video asset and getting no extra sales because of it? 🤯
No wonder most businesses aren't using video!
Upon doing more research, it turns out there are a LOT of video companies, videographers and production houses out there that focus their business around doing one thing - using overpowered cameras and drones to make nice looking videos.
They're not interested in all the boring stuff, like marketing, data, conversions, target audiences and analytics. Vertical video for Instagram stories? No way, jose! And you know what? That's totally fine! If you want to create a mini-documentary, and you have a massive budget, it means there are a plethora of options available to you.
But if you want to create something that's measurable, on-brand and built to drive your business forward? There's a lot less options.
Now obviously, I'm not talking about every video company out there. But it's definitely a trend.
"Turns out, most video companies just want to focus on making nice looking videos."
My clients needed something more. They needed to be able to attribute sales to their investment. They needed to be able to start with small, strategic videos and scale slowly. They needed assets that could speak to their target audience and convert them into loyal customers.
"My clients needed high-performance video."
That's why I started Brand Stories™. To give businesses the same highly-effective strategies that larger startups use. To give them an affordable, impactful and extremely effective means for communicating with their target audience and motivating them to take action.
We're democratizing high-performance video, and we couldn't be more excited.
2. What are our core values?
Let us be clear here - we believe most company core values are hollow statements that are more for PR than they are for a guide of ethics.
But for us, our core values are everything, and it's extremely important for our clients to be aligned on them before we choose to work together.
We have nothing to hide, and we expect the same from our clients. Radical candour and honesty will help us cut through the B/S and get to the root of your goals. In our invoices, we break down why things cost the way they do, so you can have a clear understanding of where your investment is going.
🧡 Social responsibility.
With great power comes great responsibility, and as marketers, we know we have the ability to persuade an audience towards a buying decision. Your product or service should help people, not hurt people. We refuse to work with brands who are willing to cross ethical boundaries for their gain. AKA. We will not help you sell snake oil, or build a pyramid scheme.
👌 Less, but better.
If you haven't read Essentialism by Greg McKeown, we highly recommend it. It talks about the concept of doing less, but the things you do focus on, doing them better than anyone else.
That's why we don't take on projects that are outside of our wheelhouse. We won't film your son's birthday party, or your daughters graduation. We only focus on creating high-impact brand/corporate videos that are specifically designed to drive new business, save you time or improve your processes. That's it.
We also take this approach when working with clients. We're a team of two, so instead of taking on 100 clients and juggling unnecessarily between them, we take on less clients, and go the extra mile for each of them.
This allows us to always bring our A-Game and knock it out of the each client we work with.
We believe a proper work/life balance is the key to long-term success and avoiding burnout. We're in a marathon, not a sprint, so we pace ourselves accordingly and give ourselves time to be flexible and creative. If you follow us on social media (and you totally should!) don't be shocked to see our unconventional approach to our working life, including hiking, kayaking, or mid-day trips around town on an electric skateboard. 🛹
2. Who do we work with?
The two departments that we tend to interact with the most are either business owners (small-to-medium sized businesses), or the marketing/brand department.
We work with businesses who are constantly challenging the status quo. Businesses that aspire to do more, be more and reach more people.
We work with brands that are open to learning, testing and challenging their hunches with data.
We work with brands that want to grow so they can have a positive impact on the world.
We strongly believe that in order to create powerful videos, both sides need to be aligned in these areas.
Are you looking for a video production company to help take your brand/business to the next level? If the above sounds like a good fit for you, be sure to reach out and schedule a free virtual strategy session with us!
Note: This post was originally featured on the Brand Stories: Video Blog. It's syndicated here with permission.