Brand or Die!

A Small Business Survival Guide

Hey! What's the Big Idea?

  • Posted: 7:40 AM
  • |
  • Author: Mikal J. Caldwell

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

Every business should have a Big Idea. This is the essence of why you're in business. When you came up with your business concept, it was in response to something you saw that wasn't there before. There was a need for what you were going to provide. It was the space in the market that you were going to fill. It's bigger than the product or service you sell. It's the axis that your business world turns on. If you haven't really thought about it before, you should definitely do it now. Don't just look at the product, but try to understand the underlying idea of your product, because that is one of the most important elements of your brand and one of the keys to true brand penetration.

Apple is a great example of how to use a Big Idea. Although Microsoft had a near-monopoly on operating systems, Apple decided to compete on a totally different playihg field. They launched the IPOD not as a product, but the symbol of an idea that said: "We are the definition of cool." They were completely brilliant in their launch of it and immediately the idea caught on. Not fully realizing the mortal danger they were in, Microsoft was slow to respond, and by the time they had a similar product, they had already lost the idea war. IPODS were cool. Everything else was not.

From there they used the power of that idea to breathe new life into the Mac Computer brand. Macbooks became synonomous with cool, just as the IPOD was. You can see that Big Idea still being used in their "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC" ad campaign. Apple's success wasn't built on the strength of their product, but on the power of their Big Idea.

You might not be as big as Apple, but your Big Idea is and you can use it the same way that Apple did. Understand it well enough to articulate it simply and clearly, and then begin spreading that Big Idea in your marketing. Use it to design the look and feel of your store or office. Adjust your messages to reflect it. Spread the gospel of your Big Idea and watch how many of your customers become believers.

Go forth and be ruthless!

0 people have left comments

Commentors on this Post-