Mindful design means moving forward in 2011 using our collective experience to create momentum. Smart thinking.Thoughtful action. Ideas at work. We're ready. Are you?
Our mantra: It's not what you want to say that's important, it's what your customers need to hear. It isn't about you (or me), it's about them.
Simply this: How will your product or service fill their needs? What information do they need to become engaged with you? It's probably not as much, or as difficult, as you think. But it requires close attention, and perhaps some self-discipline.
Sure, you'll need to develop a compelling list of benefits, a distinctive voice, and a clear call to action. But those need to be packaged in a format that is easy and accessible for your customers. This isn't "dumbing down" your content, but rather understanding how they receive information, what will encourage them to become loyal customers, and what will convert them to be ambassadors for your organization. Your original vision and some of your tools may have to be refreshed. But if you place their needs first, your entire communications program will certainly be more effective and successful.
Your customers' time is valuable to both of you. Be mindful and use it wisely.
Our years working with high-tech firms showed us the power of momentum. As soon as we launched one product, we were re-launching the next version. It wasn't that the first version was wrong, but it provided an opportunity to learn and keep the momentum going.
This latest recession has added an element of hesitation to the marketing mix, and clients can ponder a plan to death (we call it "paralysis by analysis"). Sit on a program too long and the opportunity will surely pass, taking with it a portion of the marketing capital you've worked so hard to achieve. Social media, open source technology, and digital printing have made it cheaper to test and communicate your message quickly. While we believe in research, planning, and taking the time to do it right, we also believe that discussion alone doesn't create opportunities for selling and learning. And really, that's what this is all about, isn't it? Selling an idea or product, and then learning how to sell it better the next time around.
Move now. Mindfully, surely and swiftly. Rev 2.0 will be here before you know it, and you'll be poised to leverage what you've learned.
The good news is, you have brilliant ideas and an exceptional organization. The not-so-good news is that someone, somewhere is doing almost exactly the same thing. So how are you doing it better? What makes yours the company to keep?
A mindful marketing program begins when you can identify three to five truly unique benefits that are valuable to your customer. You will then be able to clearly communicate how your offering is both distinctive and critical to your customers' success. Your brand is your voice, and it must speak genuinely and effectively. A strong brand can be delivered by any marketing vehicle and by anyone in your organization. It is authentic, consistent, and actionable.
So ask yourself: What are the defining characteristics of my organization that, when combined, can't be shared by any other company? Pretty much everyone claims they are committed to excellence, friendly, cost-effective, focused and green. But are you curious, colorful, unflappable, wired? If you need a little push, we've got a worksheet ... it's a great place to start.
The journey continues with a brand architecture brief, a roadmap for all things strategic and creative. It's the guiding narrative for a program that defines value, key messages, and your unique voice.
Branding can take many different paths. A good map can keep you on course and enable you to deliver a message that is mindful, distinctive, and moves your customers to action.