In case you missed it, Part I: Don't Be Unique
PART II: BE BOLD
Most companies understand that to be successful, a brand needs to stand for something. And we understand you really do mean it when you say that your company stands for “integrity,” “customer service,” “innovative solutions,” etc… But unfortunately, you’re not the only “honest,” “hardworking” business out there. Those declarations lose meaning when your competitors, especially more established ones, also say they are honest and hardworking. When you all say the same thing, the big guys will always win.
THE BOLD VALUES TEST
So how do you find something to stand for that is bold, different, badass? There’s a simple way to find out how you are different, and if not, how you can be. Ask yourself what you stand against. What pisses you off about your industry? If you stand for something bold, you also stand against something real. For example, no company offers "Bad Customer Service," so offering "Good Customer Service" is not very bold, exciting, or even believable.
SOME BADASS EXAMPLES
Mini Cooper is against "Normal", because in their words, “Normal can never be amazing”. In-N-Out Burger uses local produce and ingredients so they are against rapid growth and franchising. Chick-Fil-A's owner is a devout southern baptist whose beliefs have strongly influenced the company culture in that they are not open on Sundays and recently made public statements in opposition to same-sex marriage. And most people are aware of Ben & Jerry's liberal activism: for example their release of the flavor Hubby Hubby in support of Gay Marriage. What offends one person inspires and excites another in every case.
HIGHER PROFIT OR HIGHER GROWTH?
While we all might not agree with what these examples stand against, rest assure these brands are all loved by their loyal customers in a way that Toyota, Burger King, & Breyer’s are not. And they can charge a premium price because of it. On the other hand, though Toyota et. al. are huge successful companies, they are forced to compete on price and market share.
A brand that actually stands for something develops devout followers that will pay more for their product, meaning these brands do not have to compete on price. This equates to higher profit margins, which means as the business grows, the profits grow even more than their price-competitive counterparts. Those are the kind of badass businesses we admire!
Investing in and building on a bold brand message now will garner a loyal following that will shout your brand from the rooftops as you grow! This translates into greater and greater profits in the future. So think about what you stand against, and use that to help find that badass value you stand for. Without a contrary opinion to your stand, you can be pretty sure that big bold statement you’ve been making probably isn’t exciting enough to get your customers moving.