No amount of 1% improvements can have the impact of big, bold, brilliant ideas.
You need the 1% improvements, the little things, the basic baseline of what you do (and strive to do better) every day. But if you only make 1% improvements you’ll never have 10x breakthroughs.
To use an old but obvious case study, look at Dollar Shave Club. They sold to Unilever for $1B (at a time when $1B was a big valuation!), and yes they had a good, growing business that posed a threat and offered a quick, easy way for Unilever to get into and learn the DTC game. But much of the traction and valuation for Dollar Shave Club came from one video they did.
Make time for and create rituals to make sure you’re focusing on the big, bold, and brilliant, as well as the basic baseline.
How well you listen is more important than how well you talk. Most people have heard this and accept it to be true for individuals (especially leaders). But what about for brands? How well brands “listen” is just as, if not more, important than how well they “talk”. So much of what we focus on as marketers is the talking – the comms, the content, the campaigns. Listening as a brand could be as complicated as building a Reddit-like platform for community feedback, like Community.Monzo.com, or as simple and cheap as spending more time reading the comments people post in social media. How you listen can take on many shapes and sizes, but the important thing is to recognise the importance of it and start doing it if you’re not already.
Twitter released its list of best brand tweets of 2021. Some were chosen by the Twitter team, some were chosen based on reach and engagement stats, and we’re guessing media spend also had something to do with it! But the thing that’s interesting when looking through the ‘winners’ is they are (almost all) just good content that happens to come from brands. They’re not ads. They add value by being educational, entertaining, or inspiring in a way that’s contextual to the platform. People will engage with good content regardless of where it comes from, especially if it “fits” with how they use the platform its own.
How true is this?
Spotify serves up a playlist of your most listened to songs each year, which everyone loves! But it’s interesting how they’ve managed to not set off any privacy tripwires in doing this. Ultimately it all comes down to trust and value. If people trust that a brand and business is using their data for the right reasons to create value for them as customers, they’ll gladly share their data and not think twice about it. But if the trust and value isn’t there (cough Facebook cough) they’ll rightly have huge issues with it.