The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation where people and businesses across the globe are talking in real-time about facing this singular threat. Which leads us to an important question for businesses: How should brands communicate during a crisis like this?
Our ability to communicate through storytelling has played a crucial role in our evolution as humans. Stories allow us to build belief around ideas even when we don’t have first-hand proof of their existence.
The better your brand is at storytelling, the easier it will be to build trust with a new audience.
When it comes to decision making, we love to think of ourselves as thoughtful, rational beings. And in marketing, we extend that same line of thought to our customers. We imagine them carefully assessing and analyzing our offering. Poring over every detail.
But the truth is your customers, like everyone, mostly make intuitive, emotional buying decisions.
One of the most memorable conversations I’ve ever had with a founder came from a brand strategy workshop we ran a few years ago.
We asked an open-ended question to the group: “Why haven’t you worked on your brand strategy in the past?”
It’s easy to compare the emotional turbulence of running a business with riding a roller coaster. The standard business lifecycle comes with tense uphill climbs, exciting turns, and sometimes heart-stopping descents. When you’re that invested in your work, you can’t help but feel the intensity of those moments.
One of the biggest tests for founders and business leaders then becomes how you react in those situations.
Tone of voice is a critical component of your brand. Your tone impacts every piece of communication you have with your customers. If it’s inconsistent or misaligned with your customers’ expectations it can destroy any chance you have of building a connection with them.
Even if you’re not an astrophysicist you still probably know at least one thing about black holes. There’s just something mysterious and exciting about an object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing can escape it. Even light.
There's a product out there that everybody's used but might be slightly embarrassed to talk about; toilet paper. The company Tushy is looking to disrupt this industry. Let's see how well their position to do that.
In the world of programming, there are lots of rules to highlight how bad developers are at estimating the time it will take to finish a project.
And while we’re happy to acknowledge that programming is complex, we don’t always apply the same prediction principles to an even more complex problem: The behavior of people.
There’s a popular metaphor in the strategy world of comparing your company’s brand to an iceberg.
The idea is that your visual identity (logo, colors, and such) are like the visible “tip” of your brand.
Lying below the surface are the strategy elements that support and inform that identity.
Whether you’re a startup or you’ve been around for years, talking to your customers is a critical practice. It provides a level of insight into your business that you can’t get through surveys and analytics alone.
One of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is maximizing the use of your time.
As a founder you never get a nice, contained list of responsibilities to focus on. Instead you get one massive list titled: “Do everything to keep the business going”.
To be effective at attracting and converting customers for your business, it’s important to understand how they think about the price of your offering.
There are lots of factors around price that influence a customer’s decision to make a purchase.
At this point, we’ve been fully saturated with content about the latest batch of phones. We’ve seen the presentations, read the articles, watched the videos, and listened to the podcasts. The product features have been dissected and folks are working hard to exploit all of their flaws.
No matter how you choose to define your strategy, there are common elements that every business needs to account for in some way. These elements impact the success of your business whether you realize it or not.
This step helps you look at your product or service specifically through the lens of the problem (aka. Job) you identified for your customers.
From the point of view of your customer, what unique qualities of this offering most speak to their needs such that it would compel them to buy it or engage with it?
If the Job you defined in the previous step is important for your customers, then they’ll have some way they’re currently addressing it in their lives.
By digging into the competition, it maps out which aspects of this problem your competitors are focused on, and in turn helps you find openings for your solution within that landscape.
Your Vision Statement is meant to describe an envisioned future for the world where you’ve succeeded in accomplishing everything you’ve set out to do.
This is critical for giving you that zoomed out perspective of your overall direction. It defines what you’re looking to achieve on a broad level and who it benefits.
Our bodies give us indicators in the form of physical and mental discomfort for a reason. We’re wired to protect ourselves and preserve energy so that we can survive over the long run.
However, because we’re not generally operating in actual survival situations, those indicators have to be taken with a grain of salt.
In the process of running or working on a business we spend countless hours dissecting the “what” and “how” of our efforts. What amazing product or service are we going to build? How will we do it? What do our customers want?
If you’re not familiar with the whole build-measure-learn cycle from The Lean Startup, the idea of running "experiments" on your business may sound a little strange. But running experiments on your business is actually pretty easy — and it can even be kind of fun.
I recently used a digital product that took me on the very important journey from "I-guess-I’ll-try-it" to "I-gotta-keep-using-this".
In business, we affectionately refer to the completion of that journey as the “aha” moment.
As someone whose writing is focused mainly around my work — in particular, topics like entrepreneurship, strategy, and psychology — I’m a little obsessed with learning which types of articles generate interest and why.
Gathering information at the start of a strategy project is like putting together a puzzle with someone who’s feeding you a few pieces at a time. The more pieces they share, the more you can help arrange them to bring the picture into view.
When your business launched its website, you had high hopes for the swarms of customers it would bring in. There would be buzz, everyone would share it, your contact form would be aflame with activity.