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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

Questions Worth Asking

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

The progress we make in business and in life hinges on our ability to ask the right questions at the right time. What we need to discern and prioritise are the questions it’s most important to address.

The questions we don’t know the answers to can be divided into three categories:

1. Questions that can’t be answered yet.
2. Questions that aren’t worth asking.
3. Questions we should be answering, but haven’t had the courage or thought to ask.

We spend the majority of our time going around in circles addressing one and two. But it’s three—the questions we haven’t considered that get us to where we want to go. It’s always harder to determine if this is the right path than to inquire, which way next.

What are the questions you’ve been afraid to or have forgotten to ask? These are ones worth answering.

Image by Alexis Mialaret

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

Unlikely

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

When you’re shopping at Uniqlo, it’s unlikely a sales assistant will ignore you. When you’re a visitor lost in Melbourne, it’s unlikely someone won’t stop to give you directions and a friendly smile. When you take a sip of Tea & Glory tea, it’s unlikely you’ll confuse it with a cup of Tetley.

The best brands are unmistakable, not only because of what the do and the way they do it but also because of the things they don’t and will never do. What are your customers unlikely to experience?

Image by Patrick Vierthaler

Present Tense Planning

filed in Brand Strategy

When surgeon and author Atul Gawande treats a terminal patient, he doesn’t assess the available options in ways a conventional medical team might have weighed them up in the past. Instead of wondering whether they should keep fighting or if the time has come to give up, he and his colleagues ask a different, more important question.

“What are we fighting for?” They are seeking to understand what a good day looks like for the patient, and then to treat him in a way that enables him to live that day until the end of his life.

Most of us are not making life and death decisions about our work, career paths or business growth, but we’re still planning for the future. We come unstuck while strategising tomorrow’s survival when we compromise on what’s important to us today.

What are you doing on your good days?
What choices do you need to make today to protect them?

Image by Kev Lewis

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