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To Do Or Not To Do

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

We wake every day with solid ideas and imperfect plans.
And yet every day we stall.
We blame time.
We await readiness or motivation, or both.
We rationalise about tomorrow being better.
We make assumptions about what it takes to be good enough.
We allow doubt and uncertainty to take hold.
We wait. Forgetting that every unrealised opportunity hinged on the thing we decided not to do.
We must commit to acting when we can, while we can, because we can.

Image by Jon Nicholls

Forget Which Way The Wind Is Blowing

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

When the disco diner opened on a warm Summer night in a flurry of pink neon, accompanied by loud music and cheap booze, the owner felt reassured he’d found his tribe. But as the evenings grew shorter and the nights colder, his confidence began to waver. The evolving messaging on a pair of sandwich boards obstructing the pavement outside was a sign that all was not well inside.

The first board advertised the diner’s happy hour—$5 beers, wine and schooners from 4-7pm. The second advised that the kitchen was vegan-friendly and open until 1 am. An attempt to pick up customers who couldn’t get a table at the popular vegan taco place across the street.

The wind had clearly changed direction. Successful businesses don’t alter their marketing strategy according to which way the wind is blowing. They know who they are and who they’re for. They know what they’re good at and have a plan to be great at it. Successful brands don’t haphazardly take up the slack. They intentionally set out to do something worthy of becoming the chosen one.

Image by P. Monaghan

Skill Vs. Talent

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy

The dentist looks inside the patient’s mouth. She completes her examination, makes an assessment and proposes treatment. The proposed treatment considers only two things. What’s going on inside the patient’s mouth and his ability to pay.

The dentist knows she can fix the problem. She wants to do a good job. This is the work she’s trained for twenty years to do. But her training hasn’t equipped her to see that treatment isn’t only about executing flawless fillings. A good dentist assesses the mouth, then fills the tooth to relieve the pain. A great dentist looks the patient in the eye and understands why he’s worried about having a broken tooth before she thinks about drilling.

Proficiency and competence are a given. What patients, clients and customers want is someone who has the talent to see their problems in context. A professional who knows that they are more than the sum of their challenges and the contents of the wallets.

Image by My Future.

The Rise Of The Patient Marketer

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

The fact that we’re exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day is old news. Our lives are now designed to mitigate against being interrupted by things we don’t care about and never respond to. And yet, we often fail to acknowledge that the people we want to reach feel the same way. If we’re not in the market for having someone steal our limited time and attention, we can’t expect our prospective customers to be. They’re fast-forwarding, ad blocking, spam filtering, deleting and ignoring what’s irrelevant to them without giving it a second thought.

The good news is that the people who win in the attention deficit age are the patient marketers. The people who thoughtfully provide value. The companies that are deeply invested in creating lasting change and delivering as well as experiencing joy along the way. The marketers who are not interested in hustling their way to quick wins. The founders who are in business for the long haul.

You no longer have to worry about being the loudest, most visible, best-resourced business.
You’ve got time to take the long way round.

Image by David McAughtry

The First Marketing Myth

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

Logic tells us that just because someone is aware of a product or service doesn’t mean they will buy it. We know that people are not short of choices. And yet when it comes to marketing our products and services, we prioritise awareness all the time. Logic goes out the window. We fool ourselves into thinking that attention and awareness inevitably lead to action.

You can buy attention, but trust and belonging are not for sale.
If affinity is the goal. How will you prioritise that?

Image by USAG

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