Knowing who you are as a brand

I love Monocle. I was first “introduced” into it a fair few years ago as a magazine with a fresh look, manga cartoons and a passion/steadfast support for print in an increasingly digital media landscape.

I’ve since seen the company stretch its brand in many different directions – retail and coffee shops, clothing and fragrance partnerships – but always retaining the essence of quality and curation. It’s always had a very clear view on what it was about and always sought to (re)emphasise it with any new venture.

In the latest print edition of the magazine (focused on the media landscape) its editor, Tyler Brule, answered a few questions about it. But the one below really caught my eye. In a world dominated by stories and a belief that social is a must for all companies, Tyler offers a very interesting view about why Monocle chooses to not have a presence in social. I especially like the notion that “good brand are a little bit mysterious and shouldn’t reveal too much”. Always leave space for people to fill in the gaps.

It also reminds me of the (I think) Steve Jobs thought that “Strategy is as much about what you do, as about what you don’t do” (paraphrased as I can’t actually remember the proper quote).

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Narrow Vs Wide targetting

Saw this as part of an article in Monocle’s “Forecast” and thought there was a lot that could be applied to marketing as well.

We are in an age where we know more and more about our target audience and can refine our message to those audience but are we doing so at the risk of losing some of the “social momentum” and impact that a wider message can have?

On vision and decisions making

I recently favourited (or is it loved now?) a post on Twitter which linked to a dissection of an interaction between Steve Jobs and a disgruntled developed back in the late 90s.

Whilst the article goes through the detail of the entire response, there were two passages that I was taken by:

you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but clearly Jobs was very set in his path and delivered on what his vision was.  How often can we say the people we work for, our competitors and other companies in general have the same steadfast nature?  The same clarity in strategy?  Too often business thinks in the short term and the long game can’t be clearly seen.

and some mistakes will be made, by the way. Some mistakes will be made along the way. That’s good. Because at least some decisions are being made along the way.

The key element is the last sentence on that passage.  To make tough decisions take guts.  You have to have the balls and conviction that you are making the right decision at that point in time, with the information you have to hand. You’ll get it wrong and sometimes you don’t have enough information, but to NOT make a decision can be more detrimental than making the wrong one.

 

In any case, if you want to see the whole exchange, it’s below

 

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