Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why Consistency is Critical

Consistency is the concrete, the superglue, the foundation of every brand that works. Consistency of message over time delivers the impact you need... over time. Consider the "Little Brother Poking Torture."

When your big brother pokes you lightly over and over in the exact same spot and won't stop. At first, it doesn't hurt. Then, it's annoying. But soon, it's excruciating and you've actually got a bruise. The key is the exact same spot. If he'd poked you lightly all over, it'd eventually be annoying but not effective.

Unfortunately, most companies, even the big ones who should know better, usually want to tell customers about all their features, all their potential service options, on and on, ad naseum. The more details you provide, the more vaguely you communicate. The more directions you give, the harder it is to be located. The higher the number, the lower the value. KNOW (specifically) who you are... Own it. Claim it. Put a stake in it, stay consistent with it, and watch what happens. The narrower you focus, the wider your message goes.

Along the same lines, a business partner of mine met with an associate of his yesterday, Paul Nichols... a former VC and all-around smart guy who's seen a lot of business plans and business owners. They were talking about entreprenuers and how they sometimes benefit from not knowing what (i.e. how much work) they are getting themselves into. Toward the end of that conversation, Paul made the following quote--
"It's frightening how much of our economy is dependent on people not knowing what they're doing."

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