Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There.

Ever fell in love with some ads or messages or visuals you see by some brands out there that move your core despite the surrounding of noise screaming for your attention? Moreover, running your own business, you were wondering if you can do the same to your audience or customer.

You then said to yourself this is a great idea and you shall implement the same thing but after money spends, nothing happens and you were wondering why it doesn’t work.

However, what if you reverse engineer or copy what you see a little bit further to look at the strategy behind those beautiful posters with the resonating message, you will be amazed about how it can create impact for your branding and marketing effort.

man standing near red neon sign
Devin Nichol #unsplash

Almost everyone wants to get into action and sacrificing approach first over tactic. Everyone wants to churn out the most beautiful trademarks, shooting the best ads and maybe the most up-to-date futuristic website. However, they have no idea why they need it. Some self-diagnosed clients will tell me because their competitors are already doing it. They don’t want to miss out. Ironically, every time you proudly claim how different you are from your competitors with your unique selling proposition but ended up communicating your business the same way with the same tactics.

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stack of jigsaw puzzle pieces
Han-Peter Gauster #unsplash

I am a member of a business platform where there is an event done once or twice annually. Members are required to send out traditional mail to invite their potential business partners to come to the party. They will get to know how the platform helps them acquired more business and then decide to sign up or not. Before the event, members were busy rehearsing their showcase and keep inviting guests, sending out the printed letter of invitation.

Most of the members hated it. The process is tedious, time-consuming and ineffective. After the two failures, the leadership committees decided to do it their way. They revisit the fundamental of this platform, and the reason business owners are joining them in the first place. The thought process is taking a longer chunk of time. This time instead of charging out to do “the doing as in the book”, they were contemplating. Instead of playing a numbers game with the typical sales funnel, they go for the quality and qualified business owner who share the same thoughts and ideas.

The strategy worked. Members were inviting with ease, knowing they don’t need to come with 50 names of their friends or business acquaintances to spam. They asked one or two whom they think is “worthy.” They felt the sense of pride inviting because they believed they were doing favour helping their counterpart to grow in their entrepreneurship. The simplified version of preparing for this event makes it easy to organise. Instead of the classic dreading face, the members want to do more.

On that event day, the president told the attendees that they were there because of a selection process. They were there not to fill in the seats. They were there because they met the criteria as the potential business partner. It’s a recognition and privilege of being the chosen one. The attention is entirely on the attendees. There was no lengthy speech about the business platform. Nobody cares.

We got 25% more attendees than we did previously. Those who intended to join us is almost 80%. The members were happy to do it again.

It’s not about being creative. It’s about shifting perspectives to communicate what matters.
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The story started with someone put a halt into doing what doesn’t work. It began with someone who doesn’t just do something. He stood there. Stand there to see and admit the fact that the previous way might not work for them. Stand there to realise that the diagnose showed the need to go back to the drawing board and strategise a new approach.

There no fancy theme. There were no professional flyers designed and printed that day. There were no fancy superheroes poster designed to attract the people to come. The chapter’s designer was almost not participating.

The same goes for branding. You might not need a logo you thought you need in the first place if the process of discovery and strategy lead you to do otherwise.

Bryan Chen

Bryan Chen is a brand strategist, brand manager and consultant. He helps his client discover the reason for their brand existence through brand strategy and prioritise their branding efforts to achieve their business goal. His clients are like Giant B Melaka, Funwater France, TTW Los Angeles and many more. He believes that no successful brand can be imitated or copied and have the same outcome simply because of our differences be it our agenda, culture, worldview or goals. Just like businesses, branding is an infinite game with lots of intentional failing, learning and growing. Before he makes stuff, he would like to find out why. Cause... The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain. The same goes for your business.

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