On Nov 12 we launched our second BIG THINK event this year. Our first being in March at King City at a time when everyone said we could not launch an event of this calibre. Well, we did and our second BIG THINK in Niagara was just as outstanding. A special thanks to our sponsors, delegates and partners, The Business Link. Once again my strategic partner Vittoria Wikston did a stellar job at organizing the event details.
The message in this December BLOG is: 'Complete what you started and finish like a champion'. The key word is to finish. I know how creative and innovative you are so that's not the issue, the key is to get out there and make it happen. I have been working with several entrepreneurs over the past few weeks in helping them launch their new business idea and ignite them to action. My goal with every entrepreneur that I interface with is to ignite their passion and help them realize their idea and their potential. To many of us have these glorious ideas and ambitions on how they are going to improve their own lives and the lives of others. From the thousands of people that I interact with every year only a small percentage takes action and applies effort in moving themselves forward. It's not about how great you are, its about how great you want to be.
I find that 50% of the battle is just getting started and building momentum. In addition to launching our second BIG THINK event, I delivered several Branding Boot Camps and Key notes throughout Ontario. I had the pleasure of working with one of the world's top pharmaceutical companies in getting more innovative. My new workshop titled GET INNOVATIVE is designed to help teams extract their full creative potential. This was a great team full of inspired energy and enthusiasm. Part one of my presentation focused on their inner creativity and opened up the right side of their brain. As we headed in the remaining parts of the workshop, they were inspired to take action. The core areas of my GET INNOVATIVE message centred around the need to cultivate an innovate culture. It all starts with each individual making a commitment to becoming an outstanding person. Innovation is inspired by ambition and is fueled by optimism.
I published a recent article on the need for simplicity in relaunching your brand to the market place, I call it Flash Back to Basics:
As we approach 2010 there is a need to simplify and clarify your brand message as a means of cutting through the noise. Recent consumer polls are indicating a need for nostalgia and simplicity. So as a master in your field, this is a great time to streamline and re-introduce your brand to your customers with ultimate clarity. The following steps are designed to help guide you in crystallizing your brand:
A: Think like a consumer
B: Use a connector
C: Less is more
A: Think like a consumer:
You may think you know what you sell or what your brand stands for. However, it is what your customers think that it is that matters! Do a quick survey with your top 10 clients and ask them what they think your brand stands for and how they perceive you. It is essential that you have a clear understanding of that it is that you sell. That may sound strange however, too many businesses get too caught up in marketing hype that the message they send out have little relevance with the core service product offering. What you must convey is; your product or service; what it does and more importantly, what consumers experience with it.
B: Use a connector
An effective way to connect your customer to your brand is with the use of a connector, or theme. Think of the PC-MAC commercials that have aired for the past 5 years. The use of people to represent their respective brands is genius. Add to that the use of humour and it engages the emotional and intuitive aspects of our brain and that's a powerful combination! The message and strategy is crystal clear; MACs are cool and easy; PCs are not, and if you buy a MAC you will be just as cool. Try using a connector that engages people while connecting the essence of your brand. Ensure you don't get too abstract with the theme selection. The whole point of the connector is to bridge your brand with your customers' needs.
C: Less is more
The previous example of the PC-MAC commercials is valid in this last principle, that less is more. Try and avoid over stating your promise. It is too easy to get lost in long-winded mission statements and marketing copy when all you need is a simple and straight forward statement. Some of my favorites are:
[NIKE] The 'JUST DO IT' campaign invokes a strong sense of action.
[CARNIVAL] Their new 'FUN FOR ALL' campaign captures the experience really well.
If you attempt to connect your marketing with just your customer's minds, you may be viewed as a commodity. As you re-introduce your brand use simplicity to connect your customers hearts and you will win them for a lifetime.