We are all operating in a fast-changing commercial world where ‘fortune favours the brave’. So why is it that so many companies only embrace marketing bravery when a business is starting-up, in trouble or in need of growth?
That very distinctive breed of bravery can often be misunderstood and mistakenly associated with risk, when in fact it can be a big and important motivator for teams and talent within an organisation.
Exploited effectively, being brave can be a commercial driver for any business, especially those centred on innovation. If it is misguidedly used, or wrongly discouraged, it can however have a tangibly negative effect. So, thinking about how best to employ and encourage bravery could be key to unlocking new success for your business.
From a marketers’ point of view, feeling restricted and constrained can personally impact motivation. The consequence being the inevitable decay of those inspirational moments so critical in shaping business-winning compelling ideas and concepts.
With this alone in mind I would make the case that perceiving bravery as a brand asset is something all businesses should adopt, especially when it comes to their communications strategy, for instance, as an integral part of brand strategy where marketers are tasked with building distinctiveness.
It is not a stretch to say it can be an easy and comfortable a ride to ‘stay with the pack’ and exist within your category’s norms, but if you want to be a market frontrunner or challenger to the crown, you need to be brave to be different.
To avoid these limitations, I council how business leaders should challenge themselves to stop and think about their own approach to exploiting marketing bravery and question whether there are any unintended stopping-blocks stifling bravery – even if it leads to some uncomfortable home truths!
Of course, there is a big carrot here. Unblocking creativity can be a quick-win in transforming business confidence and increasing performance levels, and this makes for a convincing argument to see bravery more openly recognised and understood at board level, where the bottom line is ever important. A valid example would be the Mittelstand in Germany, where many businesses reward employees with a directly related bonus when innovative ideas brought forward by any of their workforce prove to improve productivity. Brave behaviour delivering rewards.
As an agency, we always look at the bigger picture and help brands think differently. We encourage businesses to value “marketing bravery” as an asset, and not as a maverick threat. Bravery is not just about taking risks, it is also about being increasingly bold, keeping focused, remaining driven in your thinking, acting with integrity and investing in creative talent and innovation. It can enable you to provocatively challenge people and ideas and it can lead you to trust in creative thinking and even in disruptive or game-changing ideas and concepts that maybe seem atypical at first glance.
So why not give it a go? Think about the brave new world that is waiting for you.
By Alex Ridings, Managing Partner
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