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.

The Art Of Making Progress

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

If only your business had more media exposure.
If only you could get the materials cheaper.
If only all the reviews were positive.
If only the website had more traffic.
If only your colleagues responded.
If only every employee listened.
If only more browsers bought.

We spend a lot of time thinking about how to change things that are often out of our control, instead of taking action on the things we can influence and impact. We only begin to make progress when we stop trying to control the outcome.

The people who change the world start walking the path—they don’t waste time waiting for others to catch up.

Image by Joelene Knapp

Is Your Business Reacting Or Responding?

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

It was impossible to walk down any high street in June without running into a notice informing you fidget spinners were BACK IN STOCK. The fidget spinner was clearly ‘the thing’ of the moment. A month later we’re already beginning to witness its decline. Another fad bites the dust.

A fad by definition is transient. It’s success hinges on what people are talking about today and is not backed by a genuine need that will require to be fulfilled tomorrow. It takes effort and courage to respond to everyday needs instead of following the crowd that’s reacting to what’s top of mind. It’s impossible to do both—which is why a good business strategy is always intentional.

Is your business reacting to the fickle market or responding to a customer’s unmet needs?

Image by Mario Adalid

The Value Of Subtraction

filed in Brand Strategy, Innovation

The call centre operator’s power is limited. He can’t bypass the company’s systems and processes. He is employed to apply a band-aid to the wound—buying the company some time until someone in another department (who he has no direct access to) can solve the problem. He should be empowered to delight and when he’s not the call centre becomes a point of friction. This is exactly the opposite of what the leaders in the company intended to happen when they invested in customer phone support.

Value is traditionally measured by what is added—giving the customer more for less. When we only view our products and services through that lens, we’re ignoring opportunities to add value by taking something away. What customers want now more than ever is a frictionless experience. Our job then is to remove as many obstacles as we can. When we begin thinking about how we could add value by subtraction everything changes.

Warby Parker’s home try-on service, subscription razors, digital accounting software, online check-in, free trials and same-day dental appointments, are all a result of thinking about how to remove a step in the customer’s journey while still helping her to get where she wants to go.

How can you give your customer more with less?

Image by Daliophoto

 

 

What’s Your Failure Strategy?

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing, Success

Everything runs like clockwork when all staff members show up for the hectic Sunday morning shift at the cafe. Customers are greeted at the door, informed about delays and offered a drink while they wait for a table. The whole system falls apart when one team member calls in sick. Waitstaff double as greeters and coffee runners. People forget to prioritise, service is compromised, and customers get disgruntled.

Every business has a success strategy. We set targets and create plans to achieve them. We imagine how we will perform and serve customers on our best days when staff show up on time and everything is going according to plan. It’s much harder to plan for failure. We don’t devote the same time and resources to imagining our next move for those times when we have to deviate from our original plan. We’re unprepared for failure because we don’t always think about what could go wrong and what we will do when it does.

The server might crash.
The package may get lost.
The email might offend.
The salesperson could have a bad day.
The marketing campaign might not perform as you hoped.

What then?

The difference between an exceptional performer and an average one is that they prepare for their ‘off’ days. It turns out that we do our best work when we plan for failure and success in equal measure.

Image by Garry Knight

Noticed Vs. Remembered

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing, Success

For every ten things we do today to get noticed we will do one thing worthy of being remembered. The irony, of course, is what we want deep down is to do work that’s remembered—not just noticed. We only achieve that goal by redressing this imbalance—forsaking the desire for attention today, to double down on doing something that will still matter tomorrow.

Image by Ant

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.