What Do You Stand For?

In the immortal words of advertising legend, Bill Bernbach:

If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some against you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you and nobody for you.
What do you stand for?

What does your company stand for?

What makes your product special?

Are you thinking BIG...really big?

Or do you just keep saying the same thing and hoping that something different happens?

If your company doesn't have a unique selling point, a specific difference, how can anyone choose you?  They aren't.  They are just getting you by default.

Once you stop attempting to be all things to all people and you truly commit to a path for your product and company, then people will seek you out.  

That's when people will stand up for you.

That's when people will become brand advocates for your product.

That's when you will get people in your tribe.

If a radio station played "all music", they wouldn't have any loyal listeners.  No one likes all music.  The more niche a station is, the more loyal those fans are.  Isn't better to have less fans that are more loyal?

Are you niche enough?

It's the first rule of branding - FOCUS.  Find the one differentiating and powerfully compelling *thing* that makes you great.

Once you know what it is then you have to find an interesting way to tell the world about it.

I read a story about the Aeolion piano company in New York years ago that was struggling to find something different about them.  Their pianos look like the competition (who was much better known).  Their pianos sound like the competition.  So what made them great?

Turns out, the secret ingredient was the capo d'astro bar.  This bar didn't really do anything for the first 50 years but after that it kept the harp inside the piano from warping and getting out of tune too badly. Basically, meant the piano would sound better longer and be easier and cheaper to keep in tune.

Although that is good to know and provides a point of differentiation, it's not really very interesting.  Sometimes, just having your FOCUS isn't enough, you still have to tell the story in an interesting way.  

Luckily for the Aeolian piano company, the interesting way to share that story was through the use of the Met.  The Metropolitan Opera used the piano and it was the only thing they were taking with them on their move to Lincoln Center.

Most people have trouble finding their own capo d'astro bar and an even harder time finding the interesting way to share the story about it.

Dig Deep.  Figure out what makes your product and company different and then find an interesting way to share it.  It's worth the effort.

Jaci Russo
Sr. Partner

No comments:

Post a Comment