According to Bloomber.com difference between a Brand and a Bland breaks down to this:
Claiming simultaneously to be unique in product, groundbreaking in purpose, and singular in delivery, while slavishly obeying an identikit formula of business model, look and feel, and tone of voice.
Think Hum vs Quip, Casper vs Tuft & Needle, Harry’s vs Dollar Shave Club. You get the idea.
The not-at-all-bland geniuses* at blandbook.com put it all together for you here. Want to learn how to build a Bland with the best of them? Follow these bland documents to always go unnoticed and be like every other bland!
*Bland is brought to you by the never bland brains of Vikki Ross and Paul Mellor.
The leaky roof analogy by the brilliant Seth Godin
In many situations, a leaky roof is worse than no roof at all.
If there’s no roof, we’re not surprised or disappointed if we get hit with some raindrops. But a roof that leaks has raised expectations and then failed to meet them.
Promising us a roof and then breaking that promise might be worse than no roof at all.
Photo by Reza Shayestehpour on Unsplash
Seth Godin on why competition is such a good thing:
A new ice-cream shop opened up downtown. Do you want to go?
Every word in that sentence is easy to understand. We know that a ‘new ice cream shop‘ is a bit like the other ice cream shops in our experience, except a little different and probably better.
And where know where downtown is.
That’s a different question than:
- Have you subscribed to Prodigy? (1989)
- Did you hear that podcast? (2004)
- Want to see my iPhone? (2008)
- Do you know how to program an Arduino? (2016)
When you ask a question about a new entry that’s also in a new category, you’re now trying to do two things:
1. Explain what the thing is. What it rhymes with. What it does. What the parameters are, whether it can be trusted to work, whether or not you’ll feel stupid doing it…
2. Ask whether your friend, now that she vaguely understands what the thing is, even wants it.
I’ve been living in this state of mystery for three decades. I’ve been asked by generous and interested folks, “what’s email?” as well as, “what’s a cd-rom?” and now, “what’s the altMBA?”
First you need to explain the category (which is never glib or easy) and then you can help people figure out whether they want to leap or not.
This is one reason why competition is such a gift. If you have competition, now you have others helping you explain the category. With competition, you can say things like, “We’re like Uber, but without the scandals.”
Photo by David Calavera on Unsplash
Great insight from the ever brilliant Seth Godin:
If you find yourself stranded in the desert with nothing but an endless supply of chips, you’re going to die within a week.
The same thing could happen to you if you had nothing but water to live on. Hunger and thirst are similar, easily confused but very different.
Our culture of corporate consumption tries to persuade us that being hungry is all we need. Hungry to earn more, buy more, save more, spend more. It celebrates the hustler who doesn’t know how to stop, asserting that this person is getting all the fancy prizes because they’re contributing so much. Status is awarded to the unsated hungry person.
But they might still be thirsty. Thirsty for meaning and connection. Thirsty for the satisfaction of creating beauty. More hustle won’t satisfy those needs.
Photo by Dan Grinwis
Seth Godin says:
In all markets, the market leader gets an unfair advantage. That’s because casual and unsophisticated customers choose the leader because it feels easier and safer.
The strategy, then, is not to wish and dream of becoming a big fish.
The strategy is to pick a small enough pond.
By engaging with the smallest viable audience, you gain the reputation and trust you need to move to ever bigger audiences.
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
An excellent article by Gwen Moran who says:
In the world of talent management, high-performing employees, or HIPOs, are the holy grail. Smart, agile, and talented, Gartner research finds that HIPOs, who are smart, agile, and talented, exert 21% more effort than their non-HIPO peers and have a 75% chance of succeeding at roles that are critical to business performance and the future leadership pipeline.
But how do you know if your organization thinks of you as a HIPO? READ MORE >>