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Own your vision – and make a Dash for it

Chris Field
Chris Field

In a world of visionaries – and no industry more visionary than technology – it’s getting hard to stand out.

Some companies manage to do it all the time – like Amazon. Its Dash button for instance, which launched in the UK this week, enables consumers to re-order literally at the touch of the button. It’s a brilliant idea for all sorts of reasons; the brands will pay for it, it takes the pain out of reordering items like toilet roll, which can never be fun – but more than this, once again, Amazon is forcing its competitors onto the back foot.

And once again, retailers have to readjust their own vision to Amazon’s, which they must hate – but how do you compete with a company that puts innovation before profit?

Amazon isn’t the only company with a big vision, and unflinching belief to go with it. Whether it’s Uber saying we can all be taxi drivers, or fast food chain Leon claiming ‘if God made fast food, this is what it would taste like’, the unequivocal faith industry leaders have in their way forward makes it easy for organisations with more modest ambitions to get lost in the noise. And any negative energy from the debate over whether these claims are outrageous simply flows back to the creators as positive vibes, which fuel their growth.

So if you’re a technology company reassessing your own vision, what do you need to think about? Here are my five starting points

#1 – Consider the vision that you had when you or your colleagues set the business up. Has it been lost under the reality of money, recruitment, sales, and even marketing?

#2 – Look at how far you have drifted from your original vision, and how you must reorient yourself to get back to it. Updating your website is a good place start, but that can cause a lot of navel gazing when you should probably be out talking to customers. They’ll tell you quickly enough!

#3 – Look at visionaries from outside your industry and apply their principles to your company. The 60s guru and LSD espouser, Timothy Leary, said “tune in, turn on, drop out”. We are still living with that rejection of the status quo, which spawned a generation of hippy tech entrepreneurs, but they are all starting to look very similar. Work harder to find your Amazon moment.

#4 – Stop listening to ‘yes men’. If everyone in the room is in early agreement, then it’s already gone horribly wrong. You need to find someone who you would normally cross the street to avoid, and who might punch you in the face even if you did. Someone who will play devil’s advocate and push you to come up with a bigger, better proposition.

#5 – Let the creative people around you be creative. Good ideas can come in minutes or months, who knows. Commercial imperatives generally mean that you will go live too early with an idea that is half-baked. You’ll probably do OK and that’s fine for some people. Meanwhile, the rest of us want to make things better in the world or at least help others to do so.

For a brand vision that truly makes you stand out from the crowd, talk to Fieldworks. Our unique 4-step Demand Generator methodology begins with finding the gaps in your prospect market to differentiate your business. Drop me an email to discuss further. 

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