The first one wasn't as good.
This one isn't much better.
But it's an improvement on the last.
That's all you need.
The first one wasn't as good.
This one isn't much better.
But it's an improvement on the last.
That's all you need.
Positioning, brand image, big idea.
According to Ogilvy, these are three pillars of producing advertising that sells.
The average person is bombarded with advertisements all day, every day. More than they can handle.
How do you get someone to buy your product? Or use your service when there's a sea of options out there?
It used to be if you could be the loudest, you'd win. Now the internet has changed all that. Everyone has the potential for being the loudest.
Your advertisement can be loud and and in their face but it won’t necessarily make the cash register ring. Customers are smarter than ever now. They still don't really know what they want but they do know how well the other guys did it.
The quality of goods and services is going up. And no matter what you’re offering, your customers will compare you to the best experience they've ever had.
I was in Austin with my God Father the other day. And there are two electric scooter companies who have take over the city. We wanted to join in. So we found two scooters, one from Brand 1 and another from Brand 2. I signed up and was rolling down the street before my God Father had even got through the form. User error? Perhaps. But 5-minutes later he still wasn’t signed up, so I tried and I couldn’t get through either. So we ditched Brand 2 and rode Brand 1 for the rest of the trip.
If getting in an Uber takes two taps and your offering takes multiple attempts and a lengthy payment method, who do you think they'll choose?
‘My own definition (of positioning) is what the product does, and who is it for?’
A good advertisement answers these two questions.
Ogilvy gives an example of how he positioned Dove.
‘I could have positioned Dove as a detergent bar for men with dirty hands, but chose instead to position it as a toilet bar for women with dry skin. This is still working 25 years later.’
People don’t buy your product. They buy the story they can tell themselves when they own it.
No one needs the latest iPhone. A phone half the price will do a similar job. But if you own it, you’re one of the people with the latest iPhone. You broadcast to the world, 'Hey, I've got the resources to get the latest iPhone.'
When you position your product or service, what promise are you offering?
‘We save product managers time by...’ Or ‘this software will save you $1000 per week on your stock ordering.’
1. What does your product do?
2. Who is it for?
Remember these two questions when writing your next advertisement.
People love coffee. It’s the second biggest commodity next to oil. 2.2 billion cups are drunk worldwide everyday.
Coffee is cheap. My friend runs a coffee business. He says the average mark up on a cup of coffee is 800-1000%.
So why do you pay $5 for a coffee at your favourite place versus the $1 you could spend at the corner store?
It’s because your favourite place has a brand behind it. You know the owner, Sarah, the beans are sourced from somewhere, ‘there’s a slight hint of caramel in this months blend.’
‘The brand image is 90 per cent of what the distiller has to sell.’ — Ogilvy on the three main whiskey distillers in the US.
There isn’t much difference between one cup of coffee or one bottle of whiskey apart from the image behind it.
Brand image is saying, ‘people like us, do things like this.’
Coca-Cola doesn’t tell you how many coca leaves go into their soda, instead they show you pictures of attractive people drinking Coca-Cola and having the time of their lives.
‘Researchers at the Department of Psychology at the University of California gave distilled water to students. They told some of them that it was distilled water, and asked them to describe its taste. Most said it had no taste of any kind. They told the other students that the distilled water came out of the tap. Most of them said it tasted horrible. The mere mention of tap conjured up an image of chlorine.’
What will people think of when they think of your brand?
Tap water or distilled water?
‘It takes a big idea to attract the attention of customers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.’
But where do you get a big idea?
‘Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant.’
There are no guidelines to getting the muse to show up. But one thing is for sure. For it to arrive, you have to do your homework.
Ogilvy was researching for a Rolls Royce campaign when he comes across the line, ‘At 60 miles per hour, the loudest thing in the Rolls Royce is the electric clock.’
Then it became one of the greatest headlines of all time.
Who’s more likely to think of a big idea?
John: ‘I never do research about the product, I rely on intuition alone.’
Rachel: ‘I spend the first week of any campaign learning everything I can about what I’m creating a campaign for, who uses it, who doesn’t use it, why they use it.’
Ogilvy was considered one of the best creatives of his time but even he felt the difficulties of identifying good ideas.
'It is horribly difficult to recognize a good idea. I shudder to think how many I have rejected. Research can’t help you much, because it cannot predict the cumulative value of an idea, and no idea is big unless it will work for thirty years.'
He then goes on to talk about five questions he uses to help recognise big ideas.
Did it make be gasp when I first saw it?
Do I wish I had thought of it myself?
Is it unique?
Does it fit the strategy to perfection?
Could it be used for 30 years?
Big ideas are hard to come by but by doing your research and asking the right questions, you can give yourself the best chance of finding them.
Life is about selling. Selling your skill set to a job interviewer, selling yourself to a future partner, selling your product or service to customers.
The internet has exposed us to all kinds of offerings and it's no longer enough to build a great product and they will come. Even the greatest products won't sell if you've got no shelf space. And the internet has a lot of shelf space. But how do you use yours best?
Position your offering well. What does it do and who is it for? What can you do and who will benefit from your service?
Create a brand image people will remember. Your personal brand is what you repeatedly do. The same goes for your product or service. Remember, quality is always a favourable trait.
To dream up big ideas, do your research. Become an expert in what you're offering. Amateurs rarely have big ideas.
The next time you want to sell anything. Remind yourself of these pillars.
A true professional shows up no matter what.
Imagine if your heart surgeon decided she didn’t really feel like replacing hearts today right in the middle of your surgery.
’Well, I’m kind of over all this blood, I’m going to a beach.’
But she doesn’t go to the beach. Because she’s a professional.
A professional is not immune to thoughts of doing other things. Nobody is. But a professional deals with them accordingly.
A professional knows there’s a job to do, a mission to complete.
There will be times where you don’t want to do the thing you know you have to do.
And in that moment you a choice. A choice whether to take on the role of the professional.
It’s rare to write a viral article the first time you post.
It’s rare for a video to break the internet.
It’s rare for a product to become a multi-million dollar success.
But these things aren’t seen as rare. Because they’re the things we see all the time.
Your first piece of work may not hit number 1. But it’s better than not being on the scoreboard at all.
The trenches are where the real battles happen, not in the offices of those watching over.
Everyone is capable of making something. Including you.
And if the first one doesn’t work. Try again. And again. Keep going good work. Keep making good art. Better art. You’ve got time.
Someone came up to me today and said they wanted to get healthier.
‘I’ve got a pack with my friend to sign up to the police force,’ he said, ‘and we’ve both let ourselves go a bit.’
‘And you look like the type of guy who knows what he’s doing, and I’ve decided it’s time to do something.’
‘Yeah, of course, I can help,’ I said, ‘ask me anything.’
What he did takes guts.
It’s hard to look at the world and say, ‘I’m going to make a change.’
It’s sometimes even harder to look at yourself and do the same thing.
Changing your mind is free but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.
On another note, these kind of situations are why I stay fit.
My body is my product. It’s skin in the game. If I’m going to write, talk about and spread the message of being healthy, I have to first be healthy myself.
You are what you repeatedly do. That’s your personal brand.
The same principle applies. If your personal brand is what you repeatedly do, you can change it like your mind. It’ll be free but no one said it’ll be easy.
Everyone is familiar with the concept of DNA.
One generation passes theirs onto the next.
Evolution slowly but surely worked out the best way to transfer information across generations.
Now we’ve got different methods; books, video, photos. But when it comes to replicating the population, DNA is still King (and Queen).
Chances are if you’ve heard of DNA, you’ve heard of genes.
“How does she look so good?”
“She must have got good some genes!”
But what are ‘good genes’?
From the sounds of things, most people would think you get your genes, they’re good or bad and that’s that.
Well, that’s partly true. You are born with specific genes but they won’t stay 100% the same throughout your life.
Much like how your bank account fluctuates depending on your spending habits and earnings, your genes with fluctuate with your health.
Let’s say you want your kids to get a big inheritance. You work hard and control your spendings.
Eventually, little Johnny gets a good deal of cash after you pass.
Whether this is good or bad is up for debate.
But the other side of the coin to wealth inheritance is health inheritance.
Just like years of poor spending habits will put a dent in anyones bank account, years of poor health habits will damage your genes.
Now you may not notice the effects immediately. Once formed, the human body is a resilient beast.
But your offspring may not be as lucky.
You know you shouldn’t smoke or drink during pregnancy as it can lead to a deformed baby.
But what about eating a diet lacking Vitamin K2, which is crucial to jaw development?
Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin which means it’s found in fatty foods (especially eggs).
During the past few decades there has been a trend to go against fatty foods.
Which may explain why so many dentists are driving around in BMW’s. The braces business is booming.
Causation or correlation?
More work has to be done but this is just one example of how food can influence future generations.
Eating well and taking care of your health won’t only mean you’ll look good, it’ll give your future offspring the best chance of growing up attractive and healthy.
Inheriting health is far more important than inheriting wealth.
PS If you’re looking to learn more about nutrition and health, I’ve been loving the book Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, 11/10.
Someone emailed me the other day saying they were having trouble completing the projects they started.
'I have 17 unfinished projects, how do I keep going to the end with them?'
The truth is, I'm the same. I have a list of unfinished projects. A book, a couple of apps, an AI curriculum.
So when I thought about how I should respond, the advice was to myself as much as it was the person on the other end.
If you keep missing your goals, bring the target closer.
Make your goals smaller. Have the big picture in your mind but break it down into sizeable steps.
If you want to write a book, write 500 words per day.
If you want to improve your data science skills, practice 1-4 hours per day.
If you want to build an app, strive to write one line of good code per day.
Some days you’ll do more. But aim for a at least a little each day.
Get a feeling for what it's like to complete something. Something small.
Then as you keep achieving smaller goals, you'll start moving toward your bigger goal.
Lay one perfect brick per day and eventually you'll have a beautiful wall.
Whatever your goals are.
Whatever your ambitions are.
It doesn’t matter.
You can all the drive in the world but you still need gas.
Energy is the most valuable resource you have.
And energy comes from taking care of your health. Mental, physical, spiritual.
Recent advancements in modern medicine have been exciting but they’re still no match for the most established health technology of all time.
Don’t overcomplicate it.
Eat food, real food. If it comes in a packet or through a window, you probably don’t need it.
Sleep long and well. 17+ hours without sleep and your cognitive abilities are the equivalent of a drunk driver.
Move. Often. Ever noticed what happens to a body of water when it stays still? It becomes stagnant.
Mental and spiritual health often come second to physical health. But they’re just as important. Check in with yourself. Check in with others.
We’re all looking to answer the same thing. ‘Where do I fit in this world?’
There’s no right or wrong answer. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to find. You’ll need energy to keep looking.
Take care of your health. It’s your most important asset.
Find a mirror.
Look into it.
And say, ‘I love you, let’s work together.’
It’s unlikely is as hard on you as you are on yourself.
And if there is someone who’s being that harsh on you. You’ve got two options.
A) Remove them from your life.
B) Say, ‘I love you, let’s work together.’
'Hey, I'm Daniel.'
'Nice to meet you.'
Oh crap what happens next?
'How was your day?'
'Busy, very busy. How about you?'
'What are you up to later?'
'I'll probably go home and make dinner.'
There it is! That's what you're after. Now you've got a hook.
The person mentioned they're going home to cook dinner. Time to explore.
'What's for dinner?'
'Do you cook often?'
'Do you prefer cooking for yourself or eating out?'
'Where are your favourite places to eat out?'
'What's your special cuisine?'
'Where did you pick that up from?'
The trick to better conversations is not always talking more. It's about listening better and getting the other person to talk more. And then you can keep it flowing. Soon they'll catch on and follow your lead.
Most of the time when you meet new people, you won't know much about them.
So you'll hold yourself back from asking a specific question and stick to the standard.
'How was your day?'
These are great to start. But to keep it going, you can use the hook technique.
And if the hook leads to a dead end. You can use the get out of jail free card.
'What are you currently obsessed with?'
There will be one of two responses.
‘Ohh I’ve never been asked that before.’
‘What do you mean by obsessed?’
Everyone is obsessed with something. Make it your mission to figure it out.
And here’s the thing. You can use this question as a double edge sword.
Ask yourself the question. If you find yourself with nothing to talk about. This is where you start.
You start with what you’re obsessed with. Not only interested in. The thing you were Googling at 12:17 am last night.
Here’s the final key.
Don’t say anything. Embrace the silence.
Having confidence doesn’t always mean talking up a storm. Or listening to every word.
Silence is only awkward if you make it awkward.
Some of the most confident people I know are also the quietest in the room.