09/01

How to Be Great

I was reading a post on “what every blog needs to be great,” and was struck with the results of this poll:

Why was this so striking?

Because these results don’t simply answer the question for blogs.  I would argue they answer the question for any brand – even a radio brand.

How much effort does your radio brand invest in its distinctive voice?  How distinctive is your voice, in fact?

It’s almost impossible to imagine a distinctive voice that doesn’t in some way involve actual human voices.  A “distinctive voice” is an expression of personality, if not “personalities.”  In our zeal to skim and trim and thin, what are we doing to fatten our humanity, our voice, that which makes us most real and authentic?

Compelling and exclusive content is actually secondary, and it’s a reminder that all content – exclusive or otherwise – lives in a context.  And that context is the distinctive voice of the brand.

Both of these elements out-score the idea of simply being “unique.”  In fact, I could argue that being “unique” without possessing a “distinctive voice” is like having a body without a soul.

Note, too, that the idea of promotion and marketing and optimization – all the stuff we ponder heavily when vexed with the problem of “getting the word out” – all those items are viewed as relatively unimportant compared to what’s at the top of the list.

In other words, as the old saying goes, nothing kills a bad product like great advertising.

This picture is good to remember as you build out your brand and invest in it ingredients designed not simply to satisfy, but also to captivate.

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