Brand Rules

What sets you apart


Social media has reshaped our lives, our sense of community, and the reality of how we live. A 24 hour a day reality shaped by communication moving at the speed of Twitter. All said in 280 characters or less.

How has this affected the behavior of winning brands? Its implications go well beyond a new media.

Andre Agassi once said, “Speed is the most underrated weapon.” A concept winning brands have taken to heart.

What does it take to outrun the competition? To be disruptive–preempting the market by being newer, faster, better?

Three recurring ingredients among companies that effectively use speed are vision, determination, and market timing.

Like differentiation, a compelling vision is the foundation. Vision so engaging it captures the hearts and minds of leadership, associates, retailers, and customers. Without a clear vision on where you want to go, speed is a dangerous concept.

Such vision comes to life through uncommon determination. Driving organizations at every level to overcome big and small obstacles. Relentlessly, like a junkyard dog.

The fuel for speed is an intuitive sense of market timing and how it can be used to create an aura of “smart” around your brand. Creativity that leads your competitors, either in products or services, takes talent and a culture that has one foot in the marketplace and one foot in the future. Combining seeing beyond the obvious of today with an appetite for risk.

Two ingredients, vision and market timing, are conceptual in nature and rest on an ability to envision the future clearly. A difficult task for many companies.

A management model supporting speed—one that would be a paradigm shift for most companies—is appropriately enough how a pilot approaches flying a plane.

Flying is complex, bad things happen quickly, and the consequences are severe.

Pilots need to know where they are going. And when things go wrong, they need a steely determination to do what it takes to survive. The three mantras of piloting are situational awareness, rapid decision-making, and use of the entire plane. It is a sleek, elegant model worth studying.

Does speed intrigue you? Are you ready to fly?

We thrive on speed and helping others to make it their own unfair advantage.

Do you have the vision to set yourself apart? The will? You can lead the herd, or be content to move with the herd. Leading is a lot more satisfying. How do you move ahead of the herd?

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Your want to do great work that utterly dismays your competitors. As if you are flying a plane to a destination you want to get to first. What do you need to pilot a very fast plane?

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What is the right conversation to be having in your company right this moment? How much change do you want? Need? Tolerate? Who can guide you on this journey of change?

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