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Priorities And Metrics

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

We often default to using narrow parameters to qualify worthiness or quantify excellence. We focus on a company’s revenue or an entrepreneur’s net worth, count the number of books an author sells or followers an influencer amasses.

What we choose to measure has a direct impact on what we then prioritise. And of course, what we prioritise determines the kind of companies and communities we build.

Better then, to set our priorities first and metrics later.

Image by Andrew

Progress And Potential

filed in Brand Strategy, Innovation

Nobody knows who invented the button five thousand years ago. At first, buttons were simply used to adorn clothing. It wasn’t until the invention of the buttonhole three thousand years later that buttons became functional. It took us two thousand years to reimagine what the button could do. And in that moment fashion and even the fabric of our society was changed forever.

The invention of the buttonhole meant we had a more reliable way of securing our clothes. Instead of having to drape ourselves in swathes of cloth, we could wear more fitted garments that used less fabric. Clothing could be designed not only to cover bodies but also to subtly reveal them. People were free to move more easily because their clothing stayed put. That newfound freedom likely had a knock-on effect on both creativity and productivity.

It took someone asking a better question about what a button was for, to see what a button could be for.

All progress is about taking a small step into the unknown, towards the uncharted territory of the never been done before.

Image by Sam Rodgers. HT to Isaac Mizrahi

The Power Of Identity In A Competitive World

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Nobody who read the pre-match reports or the post-match statistics would have predicted a one-all draw. Iceland, a country with a population of 334,000, was fielding a team of semi-professional players, in their World Cup debut against Argentina, one of the world’s best footballing nations. There was no way Iceland could compete with the experience and skill of the Argentinian team.

During the game, Argentina had 78% of the possession and took twenty-seven shots at goal. Iceland had only eight. On paper, the dominant team—which also happens to be captained by this year’s world-leading goal scorer, should have won by a mile. Iceland secured an unexpected draw, not by trying to beat their opponents at the Argentian game, but by playing their own game.

The Iceland manager, Heimir Hallgrimsson, summed up his team’s strategy like this:

“We know how we can win football matches. It is just a fact that Argentina have superior individuals with superior skills and if we go one-on-one with them you don’t need to ask who will win the game. We have to play in a special way and we have a clear identity.”

Iceland was never going to win by competing like Argentina.
They triumphed by playing like Iceland.

When we get caught up competing, we get caught out playing catch up.
It turns out you don’t need to compete when you know who you are.

Statistics from the BBC. Image by Thomas Leth-Olsen

What Successful Companies Do

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Just one thing.
Successful companies help people do things they want to do, so they can be who they want to be.
What do the people you serve want to do?
How can you help them to be who they want to be?

Image by Tim Dennell

How Change Happens

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

The success of whatever we make, serve, sell or advocate for is dependent on creating and sustaining change. The same rules apply whether we’re trying to change perception or behaviour, get people to buy our software or stop using plastic straws.

7 Steps To Making Change Happen

1. Acknowledgement
The problem, unmet need or dilemma is recognised by the prospective audience.
Awareness of the solution is not enough
2. Acceptance
Recognition that change is desired and possible
3. Adoption
Agreement about the solution to the problem.
4. Agency
A deep conviction that we have the power to create the change
5. Action
A perception or behaviour change takes place.
This change doesn’t always lead to overnight success or an immediate resolution to the problem.
6. Adherence
Sustained behaviour change, habit creation, compliance at work or loyalty to a brand.
7. Advocacy
Evangelists spread the word because of a sense of belonging and affinity with the brand or cause.

As ethical marketers and passionate activists, we spend a lot of our time working on awareness—believing that once people see our solution, they will immediately adopt it. We couldn’t be further from the truth. Making change happen is hard (and worth it). We need more time and patience than we realise.

Image by us mission

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