Stephen Melanson, from Melanson Consulting, gave a great presentation on Verbal Branding and the Networking for NonProfits Fun Night Out on May 6, 2010. This is part 6 of his presentation.
A transcript follows the video:
Here’s how I teach people in the beginning. You develop your one or two ideas that truly tell the marketplace you are different and better, the best option hands down. The plain language test is you might tell what your name is, you certainly are telling them what category the business or the nonprofit is in, and then you know what, plain language we’re different from our competitors, here’s why. Reasons number one number two, one is better than two by the way but two fine. Here is the crazy test. Now you don’t say this unless you really want to. You might choose to do that. The crazy test you tell them your name maybe, you tell them what category you’re in, and if you don’t use us if you don’t support us you are crazy, here’s why. It’s actually a different filter if you think of it that way. How would you dominate the marketplace, how would you absolutely marginalize the competition? Why they are crazy to not use you. Do you know? I do. Do you? You need to develop that.
By the way it’s OK to speak normally, you can talk about the weather, you can talk about the sports, you know, whatever you feel like. Don’t do this, never mind hello we’re different. Don’t bash people over the head with your positioning, you’ll get to it. There is a moment in every interaction when somebody says, that magic moment, they either ask you literally, what do you do? That’s one, don’t miss that. But there is always a moment, don’t miss that part. Because this turns into this, and that’s not what you want people to remember, that’ll become your brand. That person who was rolling around on the floor fighting, that’s not what you want.
OK very quick, I’m almost done. Verbal branding platform, now we’re talking this, about it’s actually done, you literally have a verbal branding platform now. Here’s the vision. You know what it actually is? It’s a platform to think and speak, that’s what it is. Thinking comes first, if you don’t know what to think you will not be able to say it, and you will not be able to unify your team around it, however large the group is. It’s a platform to think and speak. That’s what you push out through the organization and remember where I started the very beginning I said simultaneous improvement of sales culture and brand density, and I’ve explained brand density.
I’m even going to add management modeling I call it. How does a manager or a leader make a decision? Well if you don’t know who you are in a marketplace, if you know what your positioning is, what do you base your decisions on? Simultaneous improvement, all the sudden these become integrated as well, based on one platform. Everyone is all the sudden going in the exact same direction. Do you know how hard that is to do? It’s very hard, but it needs to be done as best possible. One platform. One platform of one or two ideas at most or it’s not branding anymore.
I’ll guarantee that the brand that you develop, if it’s done decently or very well is the way this the way to sell ,is the way to raise money. Ever heard of Occam’s Razor? Who’s heard of Occam’s Razor? Look it up on Wikipedia if you want. Occam’s Razor there’s a couple ways they describe it, the simplest solution is what is usually the right answer. Ever hear of that? Maybe you’ve heard that said that way. That’s called Occam’s Razor, it’s a scientific principle. But it’s appropriate for talking about because if it is not simple it will not work, period. That’s why I’ve designed verbal branding the way I have because I try to work with companies of all sizes but the larger the organization the harder it is to unify. If it isn’t simple it will not work. And then you have all the other criteria that talked about.
Couple quick reminders, no elevator pitches, ever, please do us all a favor and yourself most importantly, forget about it, forget about it. Do some ritual, throw it down on the ground and burn it. I don’t know. Do something with it but don’t ever use an elevator pitch again. You’ve got five seconds and two concepts at most. That’s how to position and will lead your conversation in the correct direction. One or two positioning ideas only, different and better use that as a filter. Why are we different and better? Different and because of that difference a better option. And you always want point, if there is more than one person around, it doesn’t matter how many. Always point the results of that work internally first, so you can then push out the marketing messages through spoken, electronic, whatever goes on in your organization.
I’ll finish with this. Patrick Lencioni , if you’ve ever heard of him. He is a recognized guru for teamwork. He wrote the Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Have you ever heard of that book? Good book. “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” True.
That’s me, thank you very much for your time.
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