If you are invited to make a speech at a conference in Madrid and deliver the talk in German, it isn't likely that your remarks will have the impact you hoped for. It's more helpful to speak in the same language as your audience.
The same is true in your marketing efforts. The people you want to connect with often have a particular way of sharing ideas. They might prefer terms such as "scalable" , "best practice" or "synergy". But if they put on a "brain bucket", are proud of their "1 kicker" and look down on "crotch rockets" they might be interested in your "hog". Tell your story in the patois of the people you want to serve.
On my regular running route I have to cross a street where most cars ignore not only the speed limit but also the painted crosswalk. And since there’s no stoplight at the intersection, almost no one yields to pedestrians here.
Which is why it was so unusual on this busy traffic morning for a UPS delivery truck to come to a complete stop. With a smile and nod the driver waved me across.
I’m sure she’s instructed to strictly follow all the rules of the road. And that the safety record of drivers is a critical performance metric. But I also assume that on-time route completion is tracked and recorded with diligence. If she hadn’t stopped would anyone ever know? Would that decision make any difference – other than to slow her down?
That is brand building. The behavior that you and your employees make every day creates a promise. A promise of what it is like to interact with your brand. Even if you are not a customer, it gets noticed. Now I have a different story in my mind about the work that you do and how you do it.
What promise are you making?
In news reports that Elon Musk had surpassed Jeff Bezos as the world's richest man, the label "visionary" was used. We tend to reserve the term for people we think are exceptional. Those with some rarified ability to see around corners.
But the truth is, you also are a visionary, Nobody has ever seen the world and the possibilities in the same way as you do. When you launched your latest project (decided to volunteer at that non-profit, cold-called that prospect, started your business) -- you had a vision. A one-of-a-kind view of the world and how your offering could solve a problem.
Share that vision. It is the best way to connect with your clients and customers - anyone that you want to serve. You are not persuading them as much as you are telling a story about your vision. That is visionary.
The story you are trying to tell - your message - is always delivered with two other important markers - tone and context. Here in Georgia voters are deciding a key Senate race. Millions of dollars have been spent on both sides and we have been inundated with political ads before every YouTube clip, billboards on every block and more junk flyers than we received since AOL launched (for the under 40 crowd a lesson here).
On a smaller scale, individuals have expressed their political standing through polite signs displayed on well-manicured yards as well as aggressive posters slapped on telephone poles. While the sentiment is the same - people like us vote this way - the tone and context are radically different.
Keep this in mind as you tell your story. How your audience perceives the message and whether it drives them to take action is influenced by tone of voice and the medium you use to deliver the message. Tell your story with intention.
I have a variety of interests and enjoy sharing my reflections on them here.