a designer behind his computer working

Step 1: Decide who you want as a customer (and who you don’t want)

The outdoor brand Patagonia has sewn tags into their clothing for the elections in America with the text ‘Vote the assholes out’. It is a reaction to their current government’s approach to environmental causes. It is a polarised statement. You are either for Patagonia or you are against. There is not really a middle ground. The clear statement has given the brand boatloads of press and cemented its place as the outdoor brand for people who are on the liberal side of the fence. They are willing to piss off the wrong customers to win the right ones.

Okay, you don’t have to be as polarizing as Patagonia, of course, but you shouldn’t be afraid to step on a few toes. Decide who you want as a customer and who you don’t. Your message will be much stronger if you can target a specific group of people.

Step 2: Tell people what you do (for them)

In an attempt to be clever, many companies use meaningless words that tell potential customers absolutely nothing about what they can expect when they hand over their hard-earned money. Therefore, never give up a clear value proposition for smart copy. Sell clarity. You sell more when a customer is in no doubt about what is going to happen. Build your brand message around the desired outcome you are giving to a specific group of people. Come right out and tell people what you do for them.

Step 3: Talk about their wins (not yours)

It doesn’t matter if you sell swings or accounting services. The key to a ridiculously strong brand story is to make your customer look smart. Talking about how good you are may make your team feel good, but no one else cares. That’s why it’s better to tell a story about how the mother or father will feel like the best parent in the world because of the one-time purchase of the swing. The story you tell revolves around your users. They are at the heart of everything you do.

And here’s another little bonus

Keep it simple (stupid simple)

Don’t make things too complicated. Because many companies are incredibly good at adding complexity. By adding gimmicks, frills and sparkles to the brand. Or by adding bullshit bingo. Just don’t do it.