Starting-up a start-up from the eyes of a starter-upper.
When it comes to the art of the comeback or just plain ‘ole being in the game, an underdog brand that is unique and genuinely different in what it says is more likely to get in the front door. However, it is one thing to simply state this as easy as it is to “simply” walk into Mordor. When it comes to broadcasting your message, product or service, the battle is not rising above the other brands – it’s that you are the other brands. Your persona groups, so desperately in need of something real, personable and genuinely memorable, are tired of the same wash, rinse and repeat. So, you may ask – how do we make our message, product or service memorable?
We’re glad you asked.
Let’s start off on the right foot by making a case for being reckless. Sometimes, the wrong decision makes for an elegant solution. This kind of idea does not fit for all. But, when it’s right – it just clicks. Original people create original ideas – these are the people who instinctually recognize the value in being different. They are quite well aware from experience that being comfortable is a common and dangerous place to be.
It takes a lot to be spirited and courageous when it is so much easier to make sensible decisions based on facts we can see, smell and touch. But how do you justify sensible decisions for branding or promoting your product or service – when everyone else is making the same sensible decision? You don’t. In our surplus economy, you are first, the same, or you are last. Take a minute and let that sink in. It means that somewhere out there, your consumer, community or persona group is looking for your product or services. And if they don’t find it? They will find something that fills the need until they get what they are truly looking for in the first place. That feeling you have right now? The uncertainty creeping up your spine into the base of your skull and filtering into your brain? That’s called fear from the idea of missing out on your dreams because you chose the safe shore over the rough waters.
And the only thing to do when faced with fear is to profess courage and act accordingly.
Anyone with a pulse has an aspiration. But, it’s easy, and I mean so easy, to wish for something and to not only wish for it – but to hope you can magically make it happen. It makes you reach for the safe decision that most people make – just the same as everyone else. Always wishing life was different is not the same as making your life different. It is harder, so much harder, to want something so bad that you actually will do anything to make it happen. It means making the decisions you need to make to get what you want. The truth is, making the safe decision is dull, predictable and leads to the same dead-end road.
You’ve been down that road. You know where it leads. Isn’t it time to try the road less travelled? Start taking some risks. It can take you to a place where others only dream of being.
If this is all new to you, then we certainly do not expect you to start running nilly-willy with scissors. Making a case for being reckless can lead to big pay-offs, but only if you properly wield the immense power of branding. You have to know or at least have a grasp of your core purpose. Otherwise, taking a risk can also lead to disaster. You won’t win everyone’s approval – it’s not possible. So, are you considering about thinking the opposite and being a little more outrageous with your copy and advertising on social media? You can still build loyalty and trust with your followers. Here are some quick tips for avoiding disaster and maintaining a human touch at the same time.
Better understanding your audience needs can position you to better meet those same needs. This goes the same for your advertising. Make the reader feel like you know them. It’s okay to not be the top brand in your category - but it is okay to be the smartest choice. Argue for your product - not against. The competition will do that in spades.
Writing outrageous copy is the equivalent of asking for a slap in the face. Some might not say what you want to hear, but chances are you will get some truthful feedback. Carpe momento. Take charge and accept responsibility. Educate and inform your audience and make them chuckle with humour but keep an underlying tone of confidence.
Look for opportunities to be memorable. Bring your brand to life but turn up, roll-up your sleeves and get the job done. Don’t take yourself too seriously though because if you want to be interesting - be interested. Find a way to be playful with your audience, ask the right questions to engage them, and above all - be real and not fake.
Life is about decision. There is no right or wrong decision. There is only a decision. Do I go with the red shirt or the blue shirt? Do I play it safe and go for the trusted and practical – or do I go for what accelerates my heartbeat? It doesn’t matter because it all still comes down to a decision, and whatever decision you make is the only one you could make. Everything is a choice. Don’t regret your choice.
Be the person you choose to be.
We’re behind the leaders who, when faced with a decision, take the outrageous one – not knowing where it might lead them. But, knowing that the safe decision had danger written all over it. Like everyone else, these leaders want an exciting life, but they are also aware that this means taking the bull by the horns in their own hands – and not living vicariously through someone else. The difference-maker is that it’s better to regret what you have done – than what you haven’t. We fully support the idea that when life hands you an opportunity, the only thing you must do is to pause for a moment – if only to imagine what you might be missing. That pause? That moment of white space? If you are outrageous enough to contemplate an outrageous decision? It challenges the idea that it is better to be timid and to play it safe. And it champions the cause for being unreasonable.
So, on that note, in terms of starting-up a start-up from the eyes of a starter-upper, we figured that if we are starting somewhere and finding a way forward – then what better place than here? What better time than now? We are working with raw material – some of it original and some of it stolen. The only thing we know for sure is that we are done with dreaming and talking about it. We now testify to the fact that we want it enough to go and get it.
Hopefully, I have not borrowed your attention for too long, and in return for that time, you will leave with something more valuable. And since we implore you to be outrageous, well… next on the docket will be how to start from scratch and throw everything you know out the window. Yup. Time to discuss the art and science of audits. You can’t strike a balance between functional and emotional benefits without knowing the position of your product or service in the market. It helps you see where your brand stands, or more importantly – where it doesn’t stand.
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