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Our work.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
People. Systems and frameworks. Content types.
Build relationships.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Teams. Models. Interface.
Design structure.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Colors. Packaging. The white space.
Experience
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Measure
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
But who cares? Customers?
They don’t.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Customers have nothing to do
with our work.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
But we get paid. Fair enough
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Why we work?
Nights booked. Minutes watched
For a North Star Metric?
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
North star metric.
Paid. Shared. Customer success.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Customers care for ->
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
This change makes a brand memorable.
The change
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
This is our work.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
This is our work.
Around all the shades of grey.
This change becomes the brand narrative
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
For the brand narrative
Content strategy. Content design.
Content experience. UX writing.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
When we design a content style guide,
or a design system, or a content
system, we are mistaken if we think
that it is only for the internal Ops or
MetaOps. This is half the truth. Every
word in our internal system is part of
the brand narrative and our customers
care about a Toms Shoes, an Airbnb, a
SoulCycle only by its narrative.
…Every word in our internal system
is part of the brand narrative and
our customers care about a Toms
Shoes, an Airbnb, a SoulCycle only
by its narrative.
Even through customers’ lens
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Not about silos.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Silos are also habits.
It is about habits
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Habits
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
It’s fine if we do not know.
It’s fine if we are distracted.
It’s fine if we are doing laundry.
What if we are not trying?
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
A CMO cannot fix content problems.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Not a rock science.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Don’t need a revolution
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
We do not question enough!
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
There is a fitting Zulu saying:
Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu means
A person is a person through other people.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Content is not about the product.
source
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Get into everything that makes a brand.
Get into the narrative.
Everything that makes a brand makes our work.
Our work is an extension of brand narrative.
Content strategy is an extension of brand narrative.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Content strategy is an extension of
brand narrative strategy.
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Our work
Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
Our work. The change.
@vingar.
Website. Medium. Substack. LinkedIn.
Photo credits Unsplash. The names or pictures or references of any brands, teams, or organizations are used for the
sole purpose of this talk. I am not associated with any of these organizations or teams in any role, nor do I endorse
their products, services, leadership, culture, or their work in any form.

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Content strategy is an extension of the brand narrative: My keynote at the Utterly Content Conference 2020

  • 1. Our work. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 2. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 People. Systems and frameworks. Content types. Build relationships.
  • 3. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 4. Teams. Models. Interface. Design structure. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 5. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 6. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Colors. Packaging. The white space. Experience
  • 7. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 8. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Measure
  • 9. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 But who cares? Customers?
  • 10. They don’t. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 11. Customers have nothing to do with our work. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 12. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 But we get paid. Fair enough
  • 13. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Why we work? Nights booked. Minutes watched For a North Star Metric?
  • 14. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 North star metric.
  • 15. Paid. Shared. Customer success. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 16. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Customers care for ->
  • 17. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 18. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 This change makes a brand memorable. The change
  • 19. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 This is our work.
  • 20. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 This is our work. Around all the shades of grey.
  • 21. This change becomes the brand narrative Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 22. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 23. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 24. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 For the brand narrative Content strategy. Content design. Content experience. UX writing.
  • 25. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 When we design a content style guide, or a design system, or a content system, we are mistaken if we think that it is only for the internal Ops or MetaOps. This is half the truth. Every word in our internal system is part of the brand narrative and our customers care about a Toms Shoes, an Airbnb, a SoulCycle only by its narrative.
  • 26. …Every word in our internal system is part of the brand narrative and our customers care about a Toms Shoes, an Airbnb, a SoulCycle only by its narrative. Even through customers’ lens Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 27. Not about silos. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 28. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 29. Silos are also habits. It is about habits Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 30. Habits Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 31. It’s fine if we do not know. It’s fine if we are distracted. It’s fine if we are doing laundry. What if we are not trying? Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 32. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 A CMO cannot fix content problems.
  • 33. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 34. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 35. Not a rock science. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 36. Don’t need a revolution Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 37. We do not question enough! Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 38. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020
  • 39. There is a fitting Zulu saying: Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu means A person is a person through other people. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Content is not about the product. source
  • 40. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Get into everything that makes a brand. Get into the narrative. Everything that makes a brand makes our work. Our work is an extension of brand narrative. Content strategy is an extension of brand narrative.
  • 41. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Content strategy is an extension of brand narrative strategy.
  • 42. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Our work
  • 43. Vinish Garg Utterly Content Conference 2020 Our work. The change. @vingar. Website. Medium. Substack. LinkedIn. Photo credits Unsplash. The names or pictures or references of any brands, teams, or organizations are used for the sole purpose of this talk. I am not associated with any of these organizations or teams in any role, nor do I endorse their products, services, leadership, culture, or their work in any form.

Editor's Notes

  1. We take pride in the work that we do. If our goal is to enable X transactions in a month and it is happening, and we are paid for it. This is our work.
  2. We build relationships, among the people in our teams and the organization. We build relationships between objects and entities and don’t we love content models?
  3. The relationships we build.
  4. We love talking about the structure, the models, and the the structure on the interface.
  5. Structure catches our eye.
  6. And, we package our work to deliver the experience in the way and in the language that the customers understand. This is actually so close to what we live for.
  7. The experience we design.
  8. We track and measure our work, and our managers, partners, or stakeholders, or the clients measure our work. So many meters, and standards, and joysticks.
  9. Ever wonder, who cares for our work? Do the customers care?
  10. No, they do not care. Not at all. They have nothing to do with what we do.
  11. Customers do not care about our work. They need not to.
  12. But we are get paid. As I said we have people who evaluate our work, and they pay to us. So, fair enough in a way because we take pride in our work, and we get paid.
  13. Let’s go back for a minute to the core question around our work. Why we work? Everybody in an organization works for the bottom line, their one core North Star Metric. For example, for Airbnb, it is Number of nights booked. Nothing else is as important as this number. For YouTube, it is the number of minutes watched. Do you think there is anything anything else as important for YouTube as a product? All the energies that are wrapped in advertisements, personalization, privacy statements, converge towards this North Star Metric.
  14. Yes, the north star metric.
  15. Number of appointments confirmed for a doctor. Number of transactions for an online ticketing platform. Number of documents or boards that are shared in a day or by a user. We call it customer success.
  16. Let’s see what the customers actually care for. Every appointment they make, a board they share, a ticket they purchase, a document they edit, or a paper they publish…. changes their life even if for a minute. Just imagine the impact on their life. Imagine if this technology was not working now or if it were not affordable, I might have been presenting in a different experience.
  17. Our work is about this change in the customers’ life.
  18. Every customer success moment makes the brand memorable for the customers.
  19. This is our work.
  20. This is our work.
  21. If we are selling shoes, or we are selling organic proteins to athletes and if these products make someone win a race or a trophy, this is our work. Their success and the change in their life becomes a part of our brand’s narrative.
  22. Take the example of Toms shoes’ campaign in Australia. Their products and the entire customer journey takes this narrative forward. We as content and design practitioners need to align our work with this narrative, for a more meaningful ‘why’ of our work.
  23. The SoulCycle products and the entire customer journey takes this narrative forward. We as content and design practitioners need to align our work with this narrative, for a more meaningful ‘why’ of our work.
  24. We as content and design practitioners need to map the ‘why’ of our work with the brand narrative. Whether we work in content strategy, content design, content engineering, content architecture, or UX writing, our work is tied to the brand narrative.
  25. Our content systems are part of the brand narrative.
  26. I repeat, and please bear with me. Our content systems are part of the brand narrative.
  27. Let’s blame something. The softest target is silod culture.
  28. We have our own hooks, our own ropes, and we pull our boats in our own directions.
  29. But silos are habits.
  30. And habits can be channelized.
  31. With all the due regards and the benefit of the doubt to our constraints and challenges, what disappoints me sometimes is that we do not try hard enough.
  32. Every time an organization approached me for ‘content marketing services’, they actually needed the ‘content strategy services’. The positioning or marketing teams cannot fix the content problems. Our design systems are useless if the folks in marketing or positioning or sales teams are not using these.
  33. So many times when an organization approached me for ‘content strategy services, they actually had the brand narrative problem. How do we start a content strategy project? It invariably starts with the brand narrative.
  34. Design systems and content systems are for everyone in an organization.
  35. To channelize our work around content towards the brand narrative is not a rock science.
  36. We do not need a revolution to get inside the brand narrative orbit.
  37. All we need to do is – ask right questions at the right time.
  38. The message. Imagine what kind of expectations and promise such campaigns make to the audiences; and what are the audiences’ expectations when they buy these services or products.
  39. Content is far beyond the product or the brand, content is about the people.
  40. Get into the narrative, and everything that makes a brand makes our work. This is how content strategy is an extension of the brand narrative.
  41. Content strategy is an extension of the brand narrative strategy.
  42. Our work.
  43. Our work. With the change.