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Mean It Like You Say It

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

The Sunday ice-cream scooper at the gelato place on Spring Street makes new customers sample every flavour before they buy anything. She knows her gelato inside and out. Her enthusiasm is infectious. She reels off the most popular flavours and tells stories about how pistachio lovers always return to pistachio having tried everything else because it’s that good. Sunday scooper believes in her product. She may only work one day a week in the lowliest position in the company but training her to love the gelato is the best investment the boss has ever made.

Far too often we fail to think deeply about and celebrate what differentiates us from others, and so we flounder when it comes to articulating our value. If we’re telling a story we believe in, it shows. There is no better marketing strategy.
When you say it, do you mean it?

Imange by Alpha.

The Incremental Advantage

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing, News

Despite what we know about how distracted our customers can be and how endless their choices are, when it comes to our messaging and marketing, we often overestimate our ability to cut through. You only have to spend five minutes watching someone scrolling through a feed on their smartphone (try it), or see how the guy reading a newspaper at your local cafe bypasses most of the content to get to the parts that interest him, for the reality we’re facing to sink in.

Instead of framing this as a challenge see it as an opportunity. Great innovators, committed business owners and unselfish marketers can thrive by planning to engage more deeply with their audience over time. The promise of the digital marketing era was that it would be faster and cheaper to reach more people. That promise didn’t guarantee deeper engagement, loyalty and more sales.

Now more than ever, even in a fast-paced digital world there is no time for marketing emergencies. We still make progress in increments.

Image by Jeroen Looyé.

The First Law Of Good Marketing

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

We can tie ourselves up in knots wondering and worrying about how to communicate our value to prospective customers. Which marketing tactics should we use? How can we improve our product descriptions? What’s the best strategy for converting leads to sales? How can we ‘get more eyeballs’ on our content? While these are all valid questions, the best marketing happens when we flip our ‘more eyeballs’ obsession on its head.

The first law of good marketing is to show people that you see them, instead of constantly trying to make them see you.

Women’s shapewear that reduces visible panty lines and unsightly bulges says. ‘I see you’.

Good quality razors at a fair price say, ‘I see you’.

The ‘skip intro’ button on your favourite show says, ‘I see you’.

One-click ordering says, ‘I see you’.

You become a more insightful innovator as well as a better marketer when you can show customers that seeing and hearing them is your number one priority. How are you letting your customers know that you see them?

Image by Ana Fuentes.

Depth Over Reach

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

It’s pouring rain on the morning the free weekly lifestyle magazine is stuck through the railings of every home on every street in our neighbourhood. So the 20% of people who would normally flick through it over morning coffee won’t bother to open the magazine today. The soggy newsprint goes straight into the recycling bin. This is not the story the magazine’s ad sales team will tell prospective advertisers. Their data will talk up the power of building brand awareness and increasing reach as a reliable business growth strategy.

The recorded message outside the chiropractor’s office on Victoria Street interrupts every passer-by day or night. He can even reach those making their way home from a big night out at 2 am on Saturday at no additional cost. You just never know who might be walking past at any given moment. And there lies the problem—just like the lifestyle magazine, the chiropractor’s business growth strategy is focused on reach instead of depth. It prioritises the unknowns above the knowns. Both companies have decided that interrupting the most people is the safest marketing strategy. They are ignoring opportunities to deepen relationships with the people who are already interested or invested in their services because they mistakenly believe more is a shortcut to mattering.

How are you prioritising depth over reach in your business?

Image by Alfred Lui.

Don’t Be Afraid To Start Small

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

On a rainy Monday early in December 1955, 40,000 African-Americans boycotted the public bus services in the town of Montgomery to protest the arrest of 42-year-old Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Their boycott lasted 381 days until the city repealed its law requiring segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks’ story is one of the most enduring examples we have of the power of one person to change everything.

We tend to forget that the ‘power of one’ rule also applies to revolutions in the commercial world. Philip Mills choreographed his first barbell workout in the remote city of Auckland, New Zealand in 1990. Today he is the CEO of Les Mills International—the hugely successful global fitness brand, with over 130,000 certified instructors delivering classes to more than 6 million people every week in more than 100 countries around the world. To put that into perspective, the population of New Zealand today stands at 4.5 million.

It’s natural to want to get your product into the hands of everyone who needs it. But thinking about how to influence the masses leads to missteps in understanding what’s driving the decisions of the few people you have the best chance of reaching and impacting right now. Like any revolution, success happens one user, one customer, one raving fan at a time. Never be afraid to start small.

Image by Jasperdo.

Unlock the magic in your story now.

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