No 006 - Stand Tall Static

No.006 – Stand Tall You Beautiful Poppy


Tall Poppy Syndrome could be holding you back, and you may not even realise it. The good news is Monogram has the cure. And a big ol’ watering can.

In the context of growing your business, this can create quite the potential conundrum: what if you invest in things to gain attention, grow market share, increase profits, improve employee retention and customer satisfaction, only to be perceived as being up yourself when all the hard work pays off?

Creating brand fame in a culture where it’s not popular to stand tall, let alone demonstrate any visible signs of success is indeed a challenge. But there’s a secret to it having it all, and in a word, it’s “authenticity.” In two words, it’s what we call your Remarkable Truth™.

Brands are starting to realise that they need to standout and get recognised for being unique and different, but the mistake many of them make is believing the path to get there is through marketing. And while marketing may eventually be a part of it, it all starts by defining your purpose and unearthing the special thing that makes you truly unique – and then integrating these into every aspect of your business through culture, staff, customer experience, business improvement, innovation and branding.

At Monogram, we’ve seen time and time again that brands that blend in, don’t get noticed. When everyone is playing it safe, there’s bound to be little distinction between competing business offerings, making it harder for customers to choose one over another. And when there’s no clear winner, customers choose based on price, which as we all know is a race to the bottom. Without authentic and meaningful differentiation, you end up on an endless merry-go-round adding new features and benefits to one-up your competitors and wasting time and money on marginal shifts that can be easily copied or matched.

The irony is almost all businesses are born with a strong founding ideal: something they want to fix, do differently, or a challenge they wanted to solve. So why do so many brands struggle with articulating their purpose? Chances are it’s still there somewhere. Perhaps it’s written down on a notepad in the Founder’s office safe. Or locked in the C-suite’s heads, unshared with staff, let alone, customers. It might be inscribed on a plaque on a wall, hiding in plain sight for so long it’s been forgotten. Or it might have left with the previous CEO.

Whatever and wherever your Remarkable Truth™ is, the first step is to find it and the second is to express it. The power in owning your meaning and value lies in your ability to share it powerfully with words, images, graphic, storytelling and more. And the best part is you can do this without fear of being cut down, because when you stand for something that authentically represents who you are and what you do, employees and customers will rally around and support it.

Trying to look, sound, or be the same as someone else on the other hand, is not only inauthentic, it’s suicide. Because if you are mimicking an Apple or a Netflix or an Uber or whomever else you admire, then you’re missing the opportunity to powerfully communicate the most magnetising thing about you.

Being a brand of differentiation, means inspiring leadership confidence at every level inside your organisation and out. It means your business direction is clear and influential, and actions are deliberate and focused, and everyone is on the same page about what they need to deliver and why. And it means you have clearly identified and articulated a distinct purpose which creates ongoing value because you can use this unique perspective to:

  • Produce meaningful customer experiences by solving real problems for them in only the way you canInitiate product and service improvements and innovations that emerge from your core truth
  • Access and create new markets and opportunities for growth
  • Engage and empower employees with the freedom to support your vision and maximise their talents and abilities
  • Create a fearless brand with on-going creative amplification tools that cut through and build goodwill
  • Increase productivity, growth and profits, sustainably and deservedly

Playing it safe in today’s economy is the metaphorical equivalent of a drought – poppies are gonna die. Lucky for you Monogram is full of professional rainmakers who can mitigate risk and leverage your potential so you can stand out clearly as a distinct, authentic, business of differentiation with something unique and valuable to offer the world.

Whether you are an established business or embarking on a new venture, the next year of Monogram articles will unpack thoughts and provide tips on how you can improve or leverage your individualism with confidence to become a fearless leader in your market.

And in the meantime, if you feel your current value is not being communicated fully, or even at all, let’s have a chat. We’ll be sure to bring our watering can.

WANT TO GIVE YOUR BRAND A TURBO BOOST?

Remember “meaningful is memorable” so if you’re interested in leveraging your Remarkable Truth™, here’s some things to ask:

  • Do you know what the core beliefs are that drive you or your company?
  • Are they really true and really different?
  • Are you solving big consumer problems? Do you have a big enough vision?
  • Are your points of difference truly unique when compared to others?
  • What value are you adding to people’s lives, the market, the industry, the world?
  • Have you clearly expressed what this value means for your employees? Your customers?
  • Is your value being articulated boldly and bravely? Or have you played it safe to fit in?
  • Are you over-inflating your offering and trying too hard to convince? Or are you under-valuing your greatness?
  • Is your articulation of value clear or confusing? Simplicity wins, and yet it can be hard to achieve.

Once you’ve successfully answered the above, come meet us for a coffee and a chat. We’ll leverage all our expertise, experience and insight – along with a fresh perspective, to help you start the new year right.


A DELICIOUS CASE STUDY: BEN & JERRY’S ICE CREAM

  • In 1978, the playful brand is launched with a desire to do something different driven by the iconic Founder’s strong beliefs and values.
  • This unique perspective is applied through the entire business: product, culture, brand identity, packaging, communications and social events.
  • In 1984, the brand celebrates its uniqueness by directly and publicly challenging a larger competitor – Häagen Dasz.
  • Mid to late 80’s: The brand continues to deliver politically and socially driven creative campaigns that are atypical of any brand, let alone the ice cream industry.
  • Authentic voice becomes recognisable as whimsical and full of personality, yet ballsy in its ability to address real world issues in a very accessible manner that no longer seems unusual coming from an ice cream brand.
  • 90’s: Their distinction and forward stance is not rejected, nor shunned. Some might consider them to be “radical” compared to the “norm,” yet they are not put back in their “tubs.” Instead, they are even more loved, celebrated, embraced and supported. They move people to act for good and in turn, those people buy more product.
  • In 2000, they sell to Unilever and continue to enjoy double digit growth while we all just get chubbier.