Is Your Brand Obsessed enough

Is Your Brand Obsessed enough?

There’s a lot brands can learn from entrepreneurs, actors, athletes, CEOs and artists that embrace their obsession to become the very best of themselves.

Just look at how obsession led to inventions that seemed impossible, a trip to the moon, scientific break-throughs and invention of super sonic air travel. Obsession is a vital brand component that everyone rallies around and lives to its fullest. It’s created many of the most successful and iconic businesses in history. 

Sometimes brands are too up in the clouds, too data-loaded without synthesized thinking and too many nice ideas that are just nice. For example, you can do brand purpose, but it may take years to get everybody on the same page - if that ever happens. But if it did, it’s magical and someone cracked the code. It’s hard to take a brand to become purpose-driven. Purpose can feel forced, if there are no truths at the roots. You can’t make the brand suddenly purpose-driven, but you can immediately impact purpose by awakening your brand obsession and get it pumping.

“Sometimes brands are too up in the clouds, too data-loaded without synthesized thinking.”
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Branding is complex

Things have gotten more complex in branding, but what if we just look at it with behavioral and historical simplicity as a way to breakthrough?

How about getting back to the one thing that made your company great? Obsession.

Steve Jobs obsessed about design. It went so far to be included inside the computer. He created moments of obsession that everyone bought into.

Yvon Chouinard obsesses in saving our planet. Now he’s tackling sustainable foods with Patagonia Provisions. It’s challenging the status quo of global food production by searching for ways to restructure a wildly unsustainable food industry.

Think about it. If Apple or Patagonia ever failed, they could always restart with their obsession that made them great. Not many brands can do this.

“Purpose can feel forced, if there are no truths at the roots.”

What can obsession do for your brand?

1-Obsession can be a huge competitive advantage.

It focuses your brand. Remember the search wars between Alta Vista, Lycos, Yahoo that offered everything from weather to gossip and more? Then came along Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin with a big empty page and only a search bar. They became the ultimate winner and offered a new future in search. The product itself was incredibly different.

This is not limiting. This is clarifying.

2-Obsession can be incredibly infectious.

Kobe Bryant is inspiring for people who want to be extraordinary. He was obsessed with hard work. Kobe started practicing at 4:30am when every other NBA star started at 6:45am. He practiced as if it was Game 7. He always wanted to get better and always wanted to work.

This recruits the right customer, partners and team members.

3-Obsession is a great time management tool.

Warren Buffet was being interviewed by Charlie Rose. Rose asked, “How do you manage your time?”

Warren Buffet pulls out an old leather notebook with only 3 things in his April agenda. He said what separates the successful is knowing when to say NO to everyone. If I can only do 3 things, what would I do. Because saying YES, you lose focus on your obsession.

Saying YES takes you away from what you have to do.

4-Obsession is an authentic performance.

Daniel Day-Lewis is a “method actor” who stays in character for months at a time. Day-Lewis, who has won three Best Actor Oscars. He talked of “the gravitational pull of another life that fires one’s curiosity” and the “mystery” of performance, at least as practised by him in front of the cameras. He believed so fervently that he was the character he was playing that got audiences swept along with him.

This is the craftsmanship between ideas and execution.

5-Obsession is learning.

“The thing about life is, every time you learn a lesson, another is waiting right at the corner. You never know everything”. Taylor Swift teaches us how obsessive learning can lead to success in life. It encourages us to explore self-learning and pursue our passions. The world needs more of ‘what do I want to learn and what do I want to get better at? Create your list, because it makes you better. It needs obsessive curiosity. It takes learning to another level.

This is constant product and service invention and unparalleled customer experience for your brand.

“How about getting back to the one thing that made your company great? Obsession.”

How do you know you’re focused on the right obsession?

Obsession with focus may seem weird, but gets you to somewhere spectacular. It connects with everything that is your brand.

Authenticity: Can you authentically own it?

Distinctive: Is there a competitive advantage?

Impact: Can you make money with this?

Action: Is this something going to attract the right customer and team member?

Discipline: Can you measure success against this?

Discovering or rediscovering your obsession starts with your origin stories, founders, leaders, extraordinary talents, history and culture. Find the truth in there. It’s your obsession that was always part of you since day one. It is what made you special. That’s why brands can learn a lot from actors, celebrities, CEOs and artists. It gives your company an obsessed culture and growth. It lets your brand create and arrive at a future where few can reach and compete.

Words: Peter Lau, Mucho’s Director of Brand Innovation