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June 13th, 2011

The value of a simple, focused message.

(For an even simpler message, just read the red type.)

As a marketer you want everyone to know all of the wonderful things your brand stands for (i.e., trust, innovation, sunshine, smiling, S.C.H.A.P.E., etc). And of course, you want the world to know the long list of incredible brand features & beni’s that makes you different from the rest. Something you take great pride in touting in every ad, press release, tweet, PowerPoint, email signature, Facebook post, on-hold messaging . . . stop it right now. Seriously.

Instead of standing out, you’re actually making your brand more invisible. As Bill Schley points in his classic Why Johnny Can’t Brand, “People only remember one thing.” Our brains only allow us to process one marketing message at a time. The rest is just blah blah. 

So, what is that one simple thing that makes you you? That one thing your consumers love, value, and want? That one thing you can leverage at every point of contact? Volvos are safe.The Economist is smart. Blendtec is strong. Cleveland is great at sports. (SarcMark.) Brokaw is _________ (Please send us your thoughts—inquiring left brains here want to know.)

If you can’t sum it up in a single word, chances are, you haven’t gotten down to the essence yet. Dig deeper, Dr. Jones. You’ll find it.

In summary: