In 1992, a young Governor from Arkansas decided to run for President of the United States. Competing against a formidable incumbent, the young governor was fighting an uphill battle.
In order to break through the noise and be remembered, his now fabled campaigned strategist James Carville wrote a few key talking points on a chalkboard.
On that board he wrote one Simple Promise three key campaign themes – ideas that the campaign would own and that people would remember. There simple promise was “It’s Time to Change America.” The themes, the “how” behind this were as follows:
- Change vs. more of the same
- The economy, stupid
- Don’t forget health care
The candidate was Bill Clinton.
Since the end of World War II, only three incumbent presidents have been unseated. And it was these three simple ideas that are widely credited with the campaign’s success.
Running the United States is a profoundly complicated endeavor, yet it was these three simple ideas that stuck.
In a world full of noise and complexity, it is the simplest ideas that shine through.
When people think about your organization – what are the three things that they remember?
What are the three things you stand for, and do better than every one else? Whatever they are, these themes – the sum total of the unique DNA of your organization – should be at the heart of all your marketing.
Don’t try to explain everything. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Own a few simple (yet profound) ideas, embody them, consistently deliver value around then, and soon the market will begin to remember.
Do this over time, and you will leave the pack and become a Market of One.
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