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The Key To The Perfect Story

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing, News

In a world where information and ideas can be shared in likes, swipes and clicks, we have never had a better opportunity to make our stories more visible. With so much for people to pay attention to, we have also never stood a better chance of being ignored. And that paradox sets us off on a quest to craft the perfect story—the one that resonates with the most people.

All stories have a beginning a middle and end. There is an inciting incident, conflict and resolution, a hero and a guide, failure and success. But unlike on the screens of Hollywood or in the pages of bestselling fiction, there is no ideal structure for crafting the perfect brand story because there is no single algorithm for touching the human heart.

The important thing isn’t the mechanics of the narrative or brilliance of the creative—the intention behind them is key to resonating with the people we hope to serve. Our quest to tell the right story stops us telling the real story. The key is to start with the truth about why we believed in what we do enough to begin and why we care about solving this unmet need for that particular person. It turns out that getting to the heart of the truth works better than finding an angle.

Image by Luigi Tiriticco

Only You

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

We had a storm on Saturday. More than 20mm of rain in minutes. We lost power shortly afterwards but managed to isolate the problem until we could get Frank, the electrician to come on Monday. He was busy. One of his big contractors had also called him out that day and they were a priority—regular work that paid the bills. He couldn’t put them off because they wouldn’t wait. As he said, as far as they were concerned, ‘If it wasn’t him it would be somebody else.’ They wanted an electrician, they didn’t care who it was.

How Frank has positioned himself (in his head as much as much as anywhere else) is not where you want to be. Another hat in the ring. Just one of many. The best option as long as it’s fastest or cheapest.

Your aim is to be the one people seek out. The one they don’t want to live without. The business worth crossing town to visit. The deliberate choice for the people you serve best. In a globalised world, we tend to think competition is inevitable. That attitude is often our best defence of our drift towards the middle. Choosing to be at the edge, then staying there is a choice. It’s the harder one at first, but in the end, it becomes the decision that frees us to do our best work.

Image by Stephanus Riosetiawan

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

Unlock the magic in your story now.

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