Necessary SacrificesPosted by Blake Howard on October 16, 2012 Share
You can’t say or do it all. The problem with most branding (and marketing in general) is saying too much; every single reason the customer should buy or every single reason why you’re better than the competition. Too many value propositions equates to no meaning at all for a brand. A great brand knows that in order to focus, something must be sacrificed. Several valid and valuable messages must be removed in order to let the key one shine.
Zappos could have promoted its amazing customer service, fantastic prices, overwhelming selection, and a litany of other messaging angles, but they kept it simple, “Free shipping, both ways.” They sacrificed other valuable propositions in order to do something dramatic and best reach their customers.
Apple could have put "Larger Screen," "Thinner body," or "This will make you feel cooler than you really are" on the box for the iPhone 5, but they didn't. They sacrificed those messages in order for the image of the product to speak for itself.
BMW did the same. Car owners want everything from nice interiors to great gas mileage to dependability. Instead of saying everything, they simply focused on saying one thing around driveability, "The ultimate driving machine."
In design, in branding, in business – focus requires sacrifice. The courage to forgo a multitude of good reasons in order to have one great reason (why consumers should buy into the brand). It doesn't mean the other reasons aren't valid or applicable, but they aren't what you want to be known for. That is the key. Ask yourself, "What do I want to be known for?" Then make the necessary sacrifices to get there.