When we can’t wait the day or two for Amazon Prime, we buy from brick-and-mortar companies to save time. And when those stores are having a price-driven event, we buy from them to save money. So what is the “one big thing,” the unique selling proposition of brick-and-mortar?
When we have no chosen provider in a product or service category, we look for reasons to have confidence in one company above the others. We’re hoping to find a provider we feel won’t let us down.
Did you notice that phrase, “When we have no chosen provider…?”
The goal of advertising is to become a person’s chosen provider. They need what you sell. They think of you. They buy from you. The end.
During the 25 years I’ve been writing these Monday Morning Memos, I’ve discovered that most of the time my readers agree with me. My writings confirm their suspicions and give voice to their long-held beliefs. But when I play the role of myth-buster, I get an altogether different reaction. I played the role of myth-buster 2 weeks ago.
Will you give me a second chance to make myself clear?
I profoundly disagree with the belief that Hedgehog Thinking – focusing all your efforts on “one big thing” – is the key to category dominance.
But I do agree that singleness of vision, “one big thing,” gives you focus and clarity.
Focus and clarity give you energy, enthusiasm, optimism, creativity, problem-solving ability, and stamina. When you lack focus and clarity, you drift aimlessly in the darkness. Jesus spoke of this principle in his famous Sermon on the Mount in the good news of Matthew chapter 6:
“When your eye (vision) is single (focused,) your body is full of light. But when your eye is clouded (unclear) your body is full of darkness. And if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
When Jesus spoke about “one big thing,” he wasn’t talking about category dominance. He was talking about the joy of having a purpose, and the passion that follows.
Your passion motivates you.
But your passion does not motivate your customers. They have passions and motives of their own.
Never let an ad writer convince you that customers will choose you because you are passionate about “one big thing.” It simply isn’t true.
We don’t fall in love because of “one big thing.” We fall in love because of “many little things.”
Customers will choose you because they like you. And there are many little things that can make them like you. This is why storytelling – advertising – should always come from the “many little things” perspective of the fox.
Translated into the language of the ad writer, “many little things” is called benefit stacking. “Many little things” also form the narrative arc of storytelling. And telling stories is how you create customer engagement through advertising. It is how you become the chosen provider.
Let your customers see a reflection of themselves in you and they will choose you every time.
Your passion is priceless. It is golden. It gives you a sense of purpose. Your passion comes from having an eye that is “single” – focused on one big thing.
Your passion is what drives you.
Your passion does not drive your customer.
Category dominance is rarely determined by passion, or even by quality. You can easily name ten product and service categories whose leaders are not the most passionate companies in their categories, or even the best. Category leaders dominate because customers choose them. They dominate because they connect with more people and make more sales.
Do you want to be happy? Live like a hedgehog.
Do you want to be wealthy? Advertise like a fox.
Roy H. Williams
Andrea Stenberg is an expert at helping small business owners understand when, how, and why to use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. According to Andrea, good content – including the use of self-produced videos – is only part of the equation. The secrets that determine whether even the best content gets noticed are (1.) knowing how to target prospective customers and (2.) how to buy paid messaging. Join roving reporter Rotbart as Andrea guides him – and you – through the shoals of social networking. You know when… the time is now. And you know where… MondayMorningRadio.com