A Thousand Tiny Cuts

The small things that stop you from looking legit.

May 18, 2020

A buddy of mine and I have started looking for apartments to rent. Scammers have been rampant, so we're extra cautious.

One realtor had sent my friend an application, his license number, and lease agreements. My buddy sent them to me asking, "is this legit?"

I could see where he was suspicious. The design of the application was shotty and it made his ears perk up. It was a lot of small things like misaligned typography, no consistency in colors, no logo for the company, no footer. Not only from a design perspective, but things like not have a dedicated domain for this company and instead using a Gmail address made this entire experience feel scammy.

Despite the fact that he did indeed have a license number, his brand and legitimacy were being put to death by a thousand tiny cuts. Small wounds that bled his company of its worth and value.

Point being, the small interactions are where you get a chance to prove yourself as something legit and unique. Never underestimate them.

More you say?

Value

An excerpt from Obviously Awesome, part III.

5.27.2020

This is the third article in a small series of punches surrounding April Dunford's Obviously Awesome! and how good positioning relates to good branding. Please read the first article and second article before jumping into this one.

Enjoy!

You know what the alternatives are, you know the special things that your startup unique, now you need to establish what makes that valuable.

It's tricky to get lost in the weeds here and even harder to stay objective.Typically, startups say things like "great user experience," or "great customer service," but that's trite and, quite frankly, to be expected. If you don't have those components, your business is gonna fail anyway.

Value goes deeper and it's objective. For example, building a repository of customer feedback and concrete examples of your secret sauce in action. Personally, this is seen in my business through my reviews and the consistent compliments I get on organization. Organization is the secret sauce (or one of them, I hope) and the value is that it saves time and keeps projects moving smoothly.

As this pertains to branding, it's a difficult to see what the emotional component is to quantitative value. However, it is clear that in gathering the quantitive data on your startup, you will see how you make people feel. If you're doing your job right, what you want people to feel and what they actually feel is aligned. That's a mark of good branding.

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Wrinkly Grey Wall

When you shower your customers with details about how cool you are.

7.27.2020

You stare at a wrinkly grey wall from one inch away. You can see every porous cavity, every abrasion, every molecule, but you cannot see the whole thing.

Is it cement? Is it brick? You don't know. Why? Because you cannot see the whole thing in context, you can only see tiny details.

You move back five feet and realize you were staring at an elephant. What's the point?

Details are important in branding, but failing to provide context is a recipe for confusing customers. You need to give them a bigger picture first instead of bombarding them with details like price, features, etc.

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