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 Benefits Of Adopting An Ostrich Mindset

filed in Brand Strategy

Think about how many hours you’ve wasted this year worrying about how well your competitors are doing. The meetings where you focused on how to get ahead. The private angst when your numbers wobbled and theirs stayed steady. Can you name one time when your business gained an advantage by obsessing about the competition?

There’s no doubt we could all benefit from adopting an ostrich mindset. The myth is that the ostrich buries her head in the sand in an attempt to hide when she’s threatened. That’s only part of the story. What she’s actually doing is tending to the eggs she has laid in a shallow hole in the ground—turning them over in the nest with her beak.

We have far more chance of creating an impact when we direct our energy towards things we can influence and change.

Image by Mike Cilliers.

Problem Solving 2.0

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Think of any one of the myriad of challenges you might face this week. Deliveries are taking longer than expected. There’s a rise in customers complaints. The new product isn’t selling as well as you’d hoped. Your team isn’t gelling.

The solution to almost every problem usually begins with the same question.
How can we get better at this? Nine times out of ten this is the wrong question to begin with, because often what you’re aiming to improve isn’t the real cause of the problem. The better place to start is by asking; What’s the simplest route to the outcome we want?

We fix what’s broken by getting crystal clear about exactly where we want to go—not by obsessing about what we think is in the way.

Image by Nicholas Canup.

What Makes Or Breaks A Business?

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

When we think about business successes or failures we focus on the highs and lows—the news-worthy triumphs or missteps. These are the moments in which we believe businesses are made or broken. Our theory couldn’t be further from the truth.

Businesses succeed or fail on an ordinary Friday afternoon when a difficult customer calls just before closing, and the minute we hire that receptionist we’re just not sure about. Businesses win in trying moments when ‘the rules’ are replaced by the right thing to do, and lose the second we prioritise process over humanity.

We win when we stop thinking about winning at all, and instead, embrace the equilibrium of doing our best work on the dull days when no one is looking.

Image by Matt Biddulph.

The Brand Awareness Checklist

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

In a competitive, commercial environment the logic is the more people who know about your business the more successful it will be. So we prioritise making more people aware. But if ‘awareness’ is your problem then asking how to get more of it is the wrong question to begin with. The better place to start is by understanding why the right people don’t already know about your products and services.

The Brand Awareness Checklist

1. Did we make a product people want to buy and then talk about?
2. Why exactly will they want to buy it?
3. Who are our ideal customers?
4. What do they care about?
5. Where are they spending time online and offline?
6. What motivates them to buy products and services?
7. Where are they researching and shopping?
8. Are we where they are, providing the tangible and intangible value they want?
9. What’s our ‘first ten’ strategy?
10.How will we make sure those first ten come back and bring another ten?

You can only reap the rewards that come by getting beyond the last question on the checklist when you’ve successfully answered and addressed the first nine. There is no shortcut to mattering.

Image by Ivan Rigamonti.

Aligning Your Ducks

filed in Brand Strategy

The manager at the burger bar works hard to manage his costs. Part of his strategy is to pay his teen workers below minimum wage. He realises he can save on salaries by cancelling their shifts within an hour’s notice on a slow day. The thing that frustrates him the most is his high staff turnover.

The cafe owner in the park employs people who have previously found it challenging to find work. He provides training and weekly mentoring to each team member—ensuring they’re on track to meet the goals they’ve set themselves. His staff love working there, and it shows, not just because they turn up, but in every interaction with customers.

A good business strategy isn’t just about having all your ducks in a row. It’s about the care you take when choosing which ducks to include and your understanding of how each one impacts your story and success. Aligning the ducks is the easy part.

Image by Bilb.

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.