Rule 1 (to break): Above All, Write and Revere Your Marketing-Sales “Message Stack.”
Nope, not “above all” — that would be putting the bathwater above the baby. Not a safe thing to do. So, absolutely, get your quarterly “message stack” in order, for sales and revenue goals. The message stack is the bathwater you must keep fresh and clean and healthy, tracking to your business plan and fluid market changes. But, don’t confuse or conflate the bathwater with Your Baby — the very life of the Brand. That’s your eternal, trust-building story. The manifesto up on your wall and echoed in your culture from every employee to every customer. What you believe and stand for. What you are building and why you’re building it. How it, your brand, will make things better for me and the world.
Rule 2 (to break): Ask Your Customers What They Want.
No. What they want is old news. You’re in the business of what they will want. Ask them what keeps them up at night. What gives them joy in the smallest of moments. Know them as people, not just customers. Then you might be able to create what they will want, but could never dream up quite like you can.
Rule 3 (to break): Write Business Plan Before Branding (or Rebranding).
Uh-uh. Don’t wait. Branding, with all your creative powers, is the emotional-logic compass that directs your business plan to true North. A clear and differentiating brand brings a business plan to life — or new life. It is the key business discipline to keeping operations humming to serve the revenue-generator: the customer. And it’s your customers who expect your brand and business to be two sides of the same truth. You want to re-brand? That’s cool. Everybody buys a new wardrobe at some point. You want to change your truth? Not cool. There ain’t no clothes on that emperor.