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Why Not Make Something Great?

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Success

Like his grandfather, before him, Shane was in the textiles business. He made good socks for a living until the day he realised that pretty soon there would be no living to be made in a product that was good enough. His company was struggling to differentiate from and compete with big retailers who could manufacture and sell socks faster and cheaper. Shane realised their survival depended not on competing to make a comparable product only cheaper, but on understanding the customer who would be delighted by and pay more for the warmest socks in the world. Ten years on his business is thriving because he dared to rethink his business model.

Without exception, whoever you are and wherever you’re reading this there’s one thing you have in common with every other person who is reading it too. You want your business or idea to succeed. You may not know exactly the path to that success, but you’re clear about the destination you want to reach.

Two things trip us up on the way to making our ideas matter. The first is our love affair with those ideas. The second is the fear of failure. In many cases, we’d rather press on uninformed and unenlightened than face the truth about the changes we may need to make to get to where we want to go. Because we invest so much of ourselves in our projects and businesses, the prospect of failure is painful. So we apply blinkers or look the other way hoping against hope that we were right all along. Blissful ignorance won’t help you to take your ideas from good enough to great.

The single biggest difference between a good product and a great one is the worldview and the posture of the person who created it. Instead of falling in love with their ideas they fall in love with their potential customers and users. They wonder what their customer cares about most. They look for problems to solve and unmet needs to fulfil. They strive to become indispensable by creating products and services that are not just useful, but meaningful. They’re not afraid to get it wrong because they know their missteps take them one step closer to getting it right.

We all have the potential to be that person if only we can lean into the doubts and dig deeper. That’s what I’m inviting you to do today. You can join me and other like-minded peers who are making their ideas matter by registering for The Story Strategy Course which starts on October 2nd. The course is self-paced, but you will have access to the platform and content as soon as you sign up, so you can get a head start. Be the exception. Take your idea from good to great.

Image of Fearless Girl by Shinya Suzuki

 

Three Pillars Of Great Branding

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

There’s nothing extraordinary about the location of the vegetarian Mexican street food restaurant at the corner of a Fitzroy laneway. The tacos are good, not exceptional. The prices fair, not cheap. And yet, even on quiet Tuesday evenings, when other restaurants advertise specials to entice mid-week diners, the taco place has a steady flow of customers who come because of how being there makes them feel. The Mexican is no longer just another eatery, it’s become a beloved brand.

Good branding is a promise. Great branding is a promise that’s fulfilled in a way that creates an emotional connection with the customer. Our promises can be made with a symbol, a taste or a sound. They can be spoken or silently enacted.

Great branding:

1. Creates an expectation.
2. Delivers a meaningful experience that matches the expectation.
3. Builds an emotional connection that compels customers to want to repeat the experience.

Every brand aspires to be more than ‘just another’ in their category. We become one-of-a-kind when we stop acting like ‘just another’ and do things that don’t always scale, with a touch of humanity.

* Registration for The Story Strategy Course is now open.

Image by Sigmund

The Limitations Of Marketing To Persuade

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

We assume sales and marketing are simply a case of fulfilling unspoken desires or unmet needs and making the people with those needs aware we’ve solved their problem.

But there’s another piece of the marketing puzzle we often overlook—the doubts our customers must overcome. People don’t just want to know that our products and services exist or how they are better. They also need reassurance that the product enabled the change they are seeking. What most people care about isn’t making the right decision, it’s making the wrong one.

We market to persuade, often forgetting the place of marketing to reassure.

How are you ticking the reassurance box?

Image by Art DiNo.

What Do You Need More Of In Order To Succeed?

filed in Brand Story, Success

If you had to pick one thing you need more of in order to succeed what would that be? Do you really need more time or more resources? Will more attention or more influence enable you to get to where you want to go?

When we dig deeper what we find we’re lacking isn’t cash or connections, it’s the courage and commitment to finish what we started. The story we tell ourselves and the lines we draw are a choice. What are you choosing to believe and act on today?

Image by Thomas Hawk

Anticipating The Next Move

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

Every successful business strategy is dependent upon making a good decision about the next move. In a commercial world, we spend a lot of time planning to create growth. Often those plans rely on getting the customer to do what we want them to do—so we can make our next move.

The businesses that not only survive but thrive are the ones that anticipate and obsess about the customer’s next move. They intentionally design products and services that take the customer where she wants to go. The brands we are devoted to now—Netflix, Airbnb, Amazon and on and on are masters of seeing us and planning for our next move.

When our future is dependent on our customers, it’s their likely next move that should inform our strategy.

Image by George Pachantouris

Unlock the magic in your story now.

Get the free 20 Questions to ask before launching your Idea Workbook when you sign up for updates.