Alternatives > Competitors

An excerpt from Obviously Awesome.

May 25, 2020

This is the first in a small series of punches surrounding April Dunford's Obviously Awesome! and how good positioning relates to good branding. Enjoy!

Positioning is where your company falls in the mind of consumers. Specifically, why your company should matter to them. In here book, Obviously Awesome! April Dunford breaks down effective positioning into 5 steps with an occasional 6th. First things first, examine what's already out there and what people might do, or currently be doing instead of using your product/services.

Note, it's not about being "better" necessarily, but more about assessing why these alternatives to your solution are being used.

In branding, this step in crucial in assessing the emotional alternatives to your company.

What is it about brand x that makes it so special? What do I feel differently about them versus brand y?

Attacking this from the angle of "how are they different?" instead of "how are they better?" is crucial to understanding their positioning and where there is space for your brand to be positioning without being labeled a copycat.

More you say?

Sick Day

Entrepreneurs have a tough time conceding a work day to illness, here's a reason to give in.

2.3.2020

I woke up feeling like crap today.

Figures, a lot of my friends had gotten sick so it was a matter of time before it came my way.

I still feel like crap so I'll keep this one short:

It's better to dedicate one whole day to getting healthy than to draw out a cold over the course of a couple days. And so, I'm taking a sick day.

Check back in tomorrow for a real MF Punch.

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Shared Belief

I'll buy when I know we believe the same thing.

9.24.2020

I'm a huge fan of Buck Mason shirts. Pima cotton, well-cut, breathable, and classic. Que bella.

Something that dawned on me though was this question: why do I admire this brand so much and why do I go out of my way to buy almost exclusively from them.

Back up to my college years. The hipster movement of adorning button-up shirts, chukka boots, and thrifting your way to style was in full swing. I recall spending hours searching through thrift stores to find trendy looking shirts that would match my barrage of beaded bracelets and my patina ring made out of a quarter. But, I didn't believe all that stuff was really cool. In truth, I found myself hating how much time I spent shopping for all that trendy shit and how complicated the process was. Turns out, I believed more in simplicity.

Flash forward to today. I keep a Buck Mason tag in my bible as a bookmark. What's the first line on it? "We make fashion less complicated."

Boom. Instant brand alignment.

Here's the thing: the reason I buy exclusively from Buck Mason is because of this shared value. If you want to build a rebellious brand, you must find that overlapping belief residing within both of you.

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