Paradoxical Brand Commandments
A lot of business boils down to common sense. However, if every brand followed what’s common and sensical, we’d end up with a slew of copycat companies. Going against the grain—against what’s common and sensical—can set your brand apart from others.
With that, I offer some paradoxical brand commandments.
Unsell what you sell.
I’ve never heard a customer say they wanted to be chased or sold to. People want products and services that better their lives. Don’t sell to them; solve for them.
Create and sell what’s beautiful.
Instead of promoting your products or services, present what’s unique. Your customers want to be moved, delighted, and inspired. Build a beautiful business and you’ll create magnetism.
Be the flame, not the moth.
Don’t chase customers with discounts, deals, and promotions. Instead, attract them with the glow that comes from the value in your products and services.
Honesty makes you vulnerable.
People want to buy from brands they feel aligned with. Be honest and forthright about what you stand for and you’ll attract the right people—inside and out.
By giving your audience your best, your competitors will know your strategy.
Don’t worry about what the competition knows. Instead be forthright, honest, open, and transparent. It’s a rare and valuable commodity in the business world. Do this and you’ll gain trust.
Show them the love, not the money.
Similar to hearts, minds go where they’re appreciated. People want to be seen and appreciated, so show them some love.
Weird is great.
It’s likely that when your company started out it was hungry, fired-up to change the world. Then, you weren’t afraid to take chances. Risk equal reward. Those that risk greatness are the only ones rewarded with it. What makes you weird is also what makes you great.
Unfollow the herd.
If you want you brand to be a cow or a lemming, go ahead and follow the leader. If you want your brand and business to attract your own unique customers and stand apart, you need to stand on your own beliefs. All brand positioning lives in the intersection of relevance (what’s in it for your customer) and differentiation (how your measurably and remarkably different than the competition).
Scale is not the goal. Value is.
Contribute real value to the world of your customers and scale will come.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.