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Worthy Of Your Marketing

filed in Brand Story, Marketing


When we’re planning a party, we know its success depends on the preparation we do in advance, often before the invitations are sent. Every detail, from the food to the table settings, the lighting to the music is carefully choreographed in anticipation of the guests’ arrival.

When we’re marketing, especially when we’re marketing online, we do the opposite. We spend the majority of our time working out how to get people to the party (our website, podcast or blog), and not enough time giving them a reason to stay once they get there.

The products, services and online experience you’re crafting for your customers need to be worthy of your marketing. Throw a party that’s worth coming to.

Image by gomagoti

The Three Pillars Of Brand Resonance

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing


The most common reason people give for contacting me to work with them is to raise brand awareness. Conventional wisdom dictates that if only more people knew about our products and services, or our ideas and our work, then we would be more successful. There’s only one problem with this worldview. More people knowing your product or service exists does not necessarily translate to more customers. More awareness doesn’t always make for a more viable business. And crucially, having the biggest audience doesn’t guarantee that you’ll attract the right customers or do your best work.

You don’t need more brand awareness to build a viable business—one that sustains you beyond simply adding the essential zeros to your bank balance. You need more resonance. When you prioritise resonance, you can serve the right people in the right way—a way that’s true to you. To do that you’ve got to be clear about who you’re for and who you’re not for. You must understand what your right customer wants and needs, and be able to explain why your product or service is their best option.

Our messages resonate when we worry less about being discovered and relentlessly pursue the trifecta of self-awareness, customer-awareness and market-awareness instead.

Image by Fiasco Gelato

The Distinction Between Needs And Wants

filed in Brand Story, Marketing


When we visit the doctor with a health problem, we are keen to have our immediate needs met. Perhaps we need pain relief or a blood test. Maybe we need a diagnosis and treatment. But alongside the desire for a physiological solution is the yearning for our intangible wants to be fulfilled. We need treatment, and we want empathy. A good doctor treats us—a great doctor makes us feel better. We value the great doctor’s ability to do both.

Things are no different when it comes to other experiences in our lives. Our hunger is satisfied when we eat the meal we ordered, but we enjoy the food more when the service exceeds our expectations.

There may be little room to differentiate your product or service based on customer needs, but the ability to differentiate on their wants is exponential. It’s possible to meet needs and wants in every interaction. How are you doing that?

Image by NYC Health

Bridging The Change Gap

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

We know that attention is the first essential step on the path to influencing others. We also know it’s not possible to inspire people to act or to create change with attention alone. There’s always a gap between gaining awareness, enabling action and gaining traction. You can buy attention, but you can’t buy trust. Trust is earned. Trust takes time. Trust is the enabler of connection and persuasion. The time between attention and action is what I call the Change Gap. To close this gap, we must first build trust and then reinforce the opinions and beliefs of the audience we’re trying to reach.

We bridge this gap with connection and persuasion. This is why for example, a hotel’s reviews on websites like TripAdvisor can make or break the business. When every hotel has a comfortable bed and free Wi-Fi, prospective guests are looking for another way to differentiate offerings, and reviews enable them to do that.

The act of persuasion gives people the opportunity to confirm whether what they believe is true. Things like providing more and accurate information, product features, measurements, photographs, pricing, demonstrations, reviews or recommendations help people to decide if your product or service is for them.

There are many real-world examples of companies who have successfully bridged the Change Gap, and industries that have been spawned by doing so. Think about the products and services we didn’t know we wanted but now consume or use regularly. Bottled water, ride-sharing services, reusable coffee cups, coworking spaces, bean-to-bar chocolate, yoga pants, nail bars, coconut oil and meal kits are just a few. The people and companies who convinced so many of us to try these products and services bridged the Change Gap by being purposeful storytellers. The same opportunity is open to you.

*Excerpted from The Right Story.

Image by Garry Knight

The Thinking, Feeling Customer

filed in Brand Strategy, Marketing

One of my friends brushes his teeth while he’s showering in the morning to save time. How much time, if any, is he saving? Probably not much. But that’s the wrong question to ask. It doesn’t matter how much time he’s saving. What matters is he feels like he’s saving time, so his morning routine persists.

As people with ideas and products and services to sell, we spend a lot of time trying to change people’s minds by appealing to logic. The people we’re trying to reach are not rational actors, and neither are we. We often choose to do what feels good above what makes sense. The ideas that spread, the products that sell and the services that get used, appeal to the thinking, feeling customer. And so should you.

Image by Carlo Villarica

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