This is not a suggestion or an empty mantra. It’s one of the very few brand-building imperatives I’ll propose to you.
As a leader of a challenger brand, you’re starting from behind, and with fewer resources than your competitors. And limited resources must be focused if they are to have maximum impact.
Here are five important ways you can be selective:
Be selective about who you serve.
Your larger competitors are often built to serve “the masses.” So one way for you to win is to focus on a particular group of humans. In almost every instance, you can do a better job of serving a smaller, well-defined group than the big boys can.
Be selective about how you’ll serve them.
Now that you know who you’re serving, how will you make their lives better? What do they need from you? Get to know your humans extremely well, and you have a legitimate source of competitive advantage.
But remember that you can’t do it all. No brand ever achieved greatness by spreading itself too thin. Do a few things very well, and I like your chances.
Be selective about your investments.
Choose one or two marketing tactics to execute with excellence. This is much better than messing with ten tactics, each of which will barely get noticed. You’ll make a stronger mark by focusing your investments.
Be selective about your metrics.
Your success metrics may not be the same as Goliath’s. In fact, they probably shouldn’t be. What’s the single most important metric by which you’ll gauge your success? A selective dashboard will make you a better leader, and will help to keep your team focused.
Be selective about who you hire.
I try to avoid sports metaphors in this blog, but here’s one inescapable fact: A huge part of coaching is fielding the best team. Larger organizations can absorb dead weight. Smaller ones can’t. Each new hire in a smaller company has a major impact on the culture and the brand experience.
Don’t hire people that shrink your company. Hire the very best people that you can.
With 2018 just around the corner, this is a great time to review your plans for the upcoming year. Are you making clear choices in all key areas of your brand strategy? If not, make the changes that need to be made. Being selective will pay dividends immediately, and for years to come.
How has being selective helped your brand (or even your personal life)? Please let us know in a comment below.
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew helps challenger brands to focus, grow and win. Since founding his consultancy, Three Deuce Branding, in 1997, he’s helped hundreds of brands to achieve brand clarity. His consulting services and speaking engagements help brands to focus on what matters most through positioning, strategy and ideation. Contact Matthew here. He calls Chicago home.
Copyright 2017 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.