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More And Less

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

We sometimes trick ourselves into believing we can have the best of both worlds. A foot in both camps. Full belly and cake on the plate. Working towards a goal means abandoning an alternative worldview. Brands like Mecca Cosmetica, Lululemon and Blue Bottle Coffee thrive because they are crystal clear about their identity. Like them, we have to choose what we will be more of and less of to create a successful business.

More about service, less about volume.
Less about scale, more about significance.
More about affinity, less about awareness.
Less about tomorrow’s results, more about lasting impact.
More about the right customers, less about the most customers.
Less about reach, more about resonance.
More about the long game, less about near-term gains.
Less about competing, more about mattering.

Being all things to everyone is never a sustainable option. The good news is you decide what stance to take.

Image by Sonny Abesamis

Copy And Paste

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

If you can copy and paste the same rejection and send it to every candidate is it worth responding?

If you can replicate your competitor’s innovations why bother to invest in your own ideas?

If you can multitask while you’re on a call to a customer was the call worth making?

If you can ignore the email for a week is that a relationship you value?

If you can pay for attention why worry about investing time to earn loyalty.

The point of the work isn’t simply to get it done. It’s to be proud of the way you’ve done it.

Image by Jacob Botter

Gaining The Advantage

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Success

This week you answered a customer query and solved her problem. You responded to every email, tweaked your resume and made your case well in the last meeting. You ticked off the things on your to-do list, had a look at your numbers and made solid plans for the weeks ahead. And that’s exactly what your competitors did too.

We spend a lot of our time doing the busy work of trying to gain an advantage in an attempt to compete and win. It turns out that the most sustainable path to significance is to do the things that the competition would never dream of doing—the things that only you would do.

You don’t need to compete when you know who you are.

Image by chat des Balkans

A List Of Alternatives To Winning

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

Alternatives To Winning

  • Caring
  • Helping
  • Being human
  • Growing wiser
  • Inspiring others
  • Righting wrongs
  • Upholding values
  • Giving generously
  • Learning patience
  • Prioritising values
  • Practicing empathy
  • Building community
  • Leading thoughtfully
  • Acting with integrity
  • Exploring possibilities
  • Encouraging progress
  • Making a contribution
  • Teaching perseverance
  • Fostering collaboration
  • Experiencing fulfilment
  • Working towards mastery
  • Changing how people feel
  • Questioning the status quo
  • Putting people before profits
  • Creating the future you want to see
  • Doing work you’re proud to have done

It turns out there are more ways to matter than just winning. We get to choose which boxes to tick.

Image by Odwalker

One Or All?

filed in Brand Story, Marketing

The blackboard on the pavement outside the florist reads; ‘Flowers for ALL.’

It’s a busy spot with plenty of foot traffic, behind a tram stop, a few doors down from the hospital. Maybe that’s why they’re marketing to everyone, instead of trying to resonate with someone. The marketing speaks to passers-by. But it doesn’t consider why they’re passing by, where they’re going, at what time, on which day. The message doesn’t invite the prospective customer to see how the act of buying flowers could change their day or even their week.

What would happen if the florist altered the message on the blackboard every day or even three times a day? There’s no doubt Monday morning’s marketing would be different from Friday afternoon’s. Perhaps, inspiring the office worker to brighten her desk for the week, or inviting the tired junior doctor to get his weekend off to a good start by surprising his partner.

As marketers, we have two choices, we can say something for the sake of saying something, or we can say the thing that will change something.

What would you write on your blackboard?

Image by Florian Lehmuth

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