How To Start Being A Common Brand

I finished and presented the “Fanfare for the Common Brand” presentation yesterday, about 150 yards out from the train station. I presented it 45 minutes later. Afterwards, Fraser and I talked about it, what needed to build on, what more should be in there. More examples, suggested Fraser, wisely.

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Brad similarly challenged me this morning… “the one question I have — and I suspect that you talk about it in the narration — is how companies can do what you want them to do with their products, brands and their customers at scale?”. It echoed something the audience yesterday at Squared asked to… “but, how…?”. And Peter on Twitter asked similar.

So, with that in mind, and without taking an age, here’s a brain dump on how you can start being a Common Brand, using the three working principles from the end of the presentation:

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Keep Talking

– Invite three customers in once a week for lunch with your team
– Find the earliest customer you can, talk to them about why they believed in you then
– Find three simple questions about your thing – ask them to everyone
– Hang out where customers hang out, just watch people using your thing
– Make everyone in the company meet a customer once a month. Minimum.
– Solve tricky customer questions face to face. Go and see them. Understand what went wrong.

Share Everything

– Write the story of your thing, as reflection. Share with the team. Then make it public.
– Show things early. Make pictures of your process public.
– If you can’t do that in your publics comms stream, make up another one.
– Be interested in other people working in similar space. Say hello. Be nice.
– Show your working. Some people are interested in how you got there.
– Show your mistakes. Some people are interested in how you got there too.

Make It Together

– Watch people using your thing. Hands tell more stories than mouths.
– Don’t show them ‘how’. They didn’t use it wrong, you made it wrong.
– Bring people together to play with your things. Ask them to improve them. Record it publicly.
– Give credit where credit’s due. More people will come and play.
– Let people steer your choices, not your existing processes.
– Prototype the thing that people say “well, you probably wouldn’t do that…” about.

 

*Bear in mind, this is a first version of a list written in 20 minutes. I don’t think it’s particularly new or ground-breaking stuff in terms of suggestions, but if you’re asking the question you may not be doing any of it.

**Some people asked yesterday “have you got any examples of people doing it well?“. Which sometimes annoys me as a question, because it means organisations are making people too afraid to try anything without a precedent. Well, there are loads of easy, quick stuff on the list above that you can try really quickly. Pick one, and do it. Then the example of someone doing this stuff is you.

***Here’s the full presentation again, if you want a flick through and the chance to discover the answer to what the true weight of the internet is… (it’s not what you expect…)


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