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Back To Basics Marketing

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

Our neighbours are having the outside of their house painted. It’s an old Victorian property, built in the 1800s with period features and delicate ironwork. I’ve watched the decorators come and go over the past couple of weeks. Seen them taking care to cover the original tiles on the porch, that could so easily be damaged. They’ve arrived on time and worked diligently. Several of the neighbours who’ve passed by have admired their work and asked for their business card.

I’m sure the decorators have a website, and I’m also pretty confident that they convert more enquires from the top of their ladders than they do from the contact form on their site. Sometimes the opportunity to tell the right story to the right people is hidden in plain sight.

Image by Peter Miller

The Tyranny Of Checking

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

There are jobs, and there is work that relies on the professionals checking. We want our surgeons, pilots and firefighters to check and double check. That isn’t the kind of checking most of us do now. It seems that we’ve unintentionally made a career out of checking. We spend many hours a day checking notifications, newsfeeds, incoming and emails, retweets, likes and comment threads.

What’s the point of all this checking? What are we looking for? What are we measuring? How is it helping us? How many times has checking uncovered a genuine emergency that needed an immediate response? We all know the answer.

While these micro-moments of distraction may seem inconsequential, we do pay the price for choosing to check. Our progress, contribution, and impact will always be measured by what we said and did, not by knowing exactly who said and did what. We differentiate ourselves by doing.

We didn’t get to where we are today by looking over our digital shoulder. We got here by paying attention to where we wanted to go.

Image byIvan Rigamonti

Better By Degrees

filed in Brand Strategy, Innovation

The track and field coach Bill Bowerman spent twenty-four years training athletes at the University of Oregon to optimise their performance. Bowerman was also the co-founder of Nike, and most famously the inventor of the waffle sole running shoe (which he prototyped by pouring rubber into the family’s waffle iron). Bowerman’s innovation made the shoe lighter and increased its grip. A tiny tweak that changed everything for the athletes who wore them and the company that made them.

Throughout history, what look like giant leaps were a result of tiny adjustments. Incremental shifts. Slight gaps that were filled. Something once thought trivial understood to be essential. The untapped and unseen, newly revealed.

The people who change the world pay attention to the seemingly insignificant. They’re always on the lookout for a way to make things better by degrees. What we see when we look at an athlete is someone running fast. What Bowerman saw was someone who could run faster.

Image by Happy Rower

In Time

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

You don’t know for sure that the broccoli at the local organic store was grown sustainably or without pesticides, but you trust that it was and you’re happy to pay more for it.  You have no proof that like the label says the bread gluten-free until long after you’ve eaten it, but you don’t question that it is. You haven’t seen beyond the cover of your favourite author’s new book, but that doesn’t stop you pre-ordering it months in advance.

In the absence of all the facts, you have to make a judgement call about trustworthiness.

You believe a story built on promises because you trust that the person or the business is honest, competent and reliable. Trust creates the connection between buyer and seller. And that connection requires patience.

We don’t hustle our way quickly to success—we earn our way there in time.

Image by Zug Zwag

A Stop Start Guide To (Business) Success

filed in Brand Strategy

Stop worrying about how to get attention.
Start paying attention.

Stop obsessing about creating awareness.
Start being more aware.

Stop making people want things.
Start making things people want.

Stop analysing the data.
Start seeing the people it represents.

Stop trying to be more interesting.
Start being interested.

Stop thinking about their advantage.
Start with your agency.

Stop keeping score.
Start sharing.

Stop competing.
Start contributing.

Stop comparing.
Start noticing.

Stop doubting.
Start doing.

Stop striving.
Start caring.

Stop wondering about what’s next.
Start here and now.

Image by Micah Camara

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