The 3 Keys to Becoming a Trusted Authority Brand During Corona Times
Original: April 2020, Repurposed: April 2020, Update: May 2020
What is the dominant emotion surrounding us all nowadays?
FEAR, FEAR and more FEAR.
Fear of losing everything: our health, our jobs, our ability to take care of our kids, our money, our partner, our whole routine and balance… our life.
Especially in business circles there is a lot of talk about the implication of this situation on brands, even questioning the need pay more for them in the “New Normal”.
That depends to the following: do they fool people to pay more with marketing gimmicks, or do people trust them thanks to an authentically presented unique value?
I will pay a premium for what I believe is the most hygienic shopping experience but I will not pay 2.5 times for branded products if I know that e.g. the private label is exactly the same product by a trusted producer…
Please think of this as a very simple example; there are zillions of ways to create value (functional, emotional, sensorial etc.).
When fear is the major driver, we all favor products, people and even cities who we trust the most, and especially nowadays, trust the most to protect our health.
All brands, especially those that are associated with crowded spaces need to reassess their reason for being: shopping malls, people who host huge live events, Istanbul…
So how do you do it?
The 1st Key: Clarify Your Unique Contribution
What would the world lose if you didn’t exist?
Passion is a very important word.
But as with all good things its real value is gets buried beneath misuse, overuse and abuse.
At one point in my life I was so fixated on this issue that I became a Certified Passion Test Facilitator for Individuals, then for Businesses and even Kids.
The real “Secret” (pun intended regarding the movie) is to find the Focus Sweet Spot at the intersection of the following:
a) Your Passion
b) Your DNA Advantage: your strongest muscle which you are the best at and cannot be copied, at least in the mind of your customers (you win in the mind, not in the lab or the market).
c) Market Demand
This secret that comes from the personal development world applies not only to people but to products / services and even countries / cities as the most attractive reflect the personality of their people.
This has always been the case, COVID-19 or not.
Today, the challenge is to adapt according to the new Market Demand.
Making time to figure this out, personally or as a team, will help you nail down your Unique Contribution to the New World, your renewed reason for being.
The 2nd Key: Design A Focused Positioning Strategy
Focus, Focus, Focus.
Once you find your Unique Contribution, the next step is to turn it into a Focused Positioning Strategy and to relentlessly Focus on this Positioning.
It is to Own a Word, Concept or Category in the Minds of Your Customers.
Your product and / or service, your price, where you meet your customers, what you tell them about yourself, your content; they all have to reinforce the word, concept or category which you want to own.
Take a look at this example from a fresh e book by Martin Lindstrom:
“TOTO, headquartered in Japan, migrated — just like Apple — from one core expertise to another. Their latest behind-the scenes innovation is a toilet that samples the user’s feces and urine and sends the data for analysis on a daily basis. Not only does it catch potential life-threatening diseases, but the toilet (yes, the toilet!) analyses your immune system and creates daily recommendations for vitamin intake. Through a separate device, it will send this information to you each evening. And that’s a loo!”
Having this kind of focus will also guide you on what to spend your time, energy and money on and what to eliminate.
The 3rd Key: Don’t Lose Your Focus
Know how to filter distractions; they will be thrown at you to test you.
When you go after something you are passionate about, your commitment will be tested.
What’s more, if you are very successful, your ego will tell you dive into stuff that is not in line with your Unique Contribution.
People trust you THE MOST on words, concepts or categories you own, not the ones you’ve gone and plastered your name on to.
Just look this Airbnb example I mentioned in a previous post:
Airbnb is REFOCUSING the company on its core home sharing business and pausing its efforts on transportation as well as Airbnb Studios, which produces travel videos.
“...we need to make more fundamental changes to Airbnb by reducing the size of our workforce around a more FOCUSED business strategy” CEO Brian Chesky
That is why we hate brand extensions as Strategic Positioning Consultants.
To get rid of these distractions, I use a process with my clients which I learned during my Passion Test training days at a 10 day camp in California: the Work of Byron Katie, a very powerful questioning method that helps eliminate limiting beliefs, whether in business or life in general.
Now that we have been made to learn by heart the basic rules - masks, social distancing & hygiene - it is now time to focus on redefining ourselves in the new reality.
Sounds simple, looks difficult to do, but is way easier if you have the right tools…
If you need help during this journey, I will be happy to support you.