Showing The Blank Page Who's Boss
WANT TO READ ALONG WITH THE AUTHOR'S VOICE?
Click the play button and follow along...
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of jobs, with a lot of different responsibilities. Conversely, very few people have ever done professionally what I now do. Most people are smart enough not to want to write for a living. This probably includes you.
What we are about to do is a small writing exercise. You will get to think about the EZ Street brand in perhaps a different way, write a short paragraph, edit that paragraph, send it to me, and prepare an answer for discussion. Please send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, November 2.
There is a good chance you already hate this exercise. Many people have fear and loathing for the blank page. Be not afraid. Come to the light. This is fun. Whee!
Thinking about the brand...
At Slow Burn Marketing, my wife and I specialize in brand-based marketing for small business. And since we brand a lot of small businesses, we need to have a definition of brand.
We define brand this way:
Brand is the one way your core customer should feel about your business.
- “One way” because focus is essential. Doing more than one thing well at a time is impossible.
- “Core customer” because, once you define the person to whom you’re speaking, it’s easier to speak in a voice that is relevant and resonant.
- “Feel” because all decisions, including buying decisions, are made from a position of emotional intelligence. The decision must feel right.
We did not brand EZ Street. That happened long before I got here.
The EZ Street brand is obviously good and solid and functional. A couple of years ago, my wife and I talked with Dag and Bryan Jean about the brand. Then, we reverse-engineered a document defining what the EZ Street brand is about.
We defined the core customer and the one way that customer should feel. Since then, I’ve made some changes to that document.
You are special. Nobody else has ever seen these changes until now. Not even Dag or Bryan.
Here are the basics...
EZ STREET CORE CUSTOMER: A hard-hat pro who likes showing potholes who’s boss.
THE ONE WAY THE EZ STREET CUSTOMER SHOULD FEEL: Like he knows something better and different, and it makes his job more satisfying.
Knowing these particular details, the exercise is this: You have to write about you and the brand and the core customer.
You are about to show the blank page who’s boss.
HERE IS YOUR EXERCISE
Please read all of this before beginning the exercise.
Please follow all the steps.
It won't take long. But it's a very specific exercise.
The results will surprise you.
We have 1) a branding question and 2) a discussion question.
1. Branding Question: Follow the instructions to write an answer for the branding question, and send it to me.
2. Discussion question: Think about what you wrote, how you feel about it, and prepare an answer for the discussion question.
BRANDING QUESTION: How do you help that hard-hat pro show potholes who’s boss?
Have fun with this. It doesn’t need to be serious. It need only be on-topic and on-brand.
HOW TO WRITE YOUR ANSWER
1. Forget about how much you already hate this exercise. Set a timer for three minutes.
2. Start writing in free fall. Don't think about it. Just do it. Write everything that comes into your head. Write quickly. Write without judgment. Write without proper spelling or punctuation. Anything that needs fixing, you can fix later.
3. When the timer goes off, stop writing. Read what you’ve written.
4. Take those words and edit them. Create a single paragraph, no more than 150 words long that makes you happy.
5. Please send your answer to email@example.com by Friday, November 2.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: How did this exercise change your feeling about your job and the EZ Street brand?