Retail Observer

May 2021

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM MAY 2021 42 Steven Morris On Brand B e bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid." This is a line from the movie Almost Famous written and directed by Cameron Crowe. (It's also attributed to the German poet, playwright and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the Canadian clergyman and writer Basil King.) If you haven't seen the movie, here's the setup. William Miller is the central character whose story is loosely based on Cameron Crowe's. Miller is a 15-year-old rock journalist who's following a promising band around the country to write an article for Rolling Stone. While he travels across the country with the band, William's mother, a college professor in California, is worried about him. And rightly so. "Rock stars have kidnapped my son," she blurts out to her college class. When she calls to check on her son just before the band is about the take the stage, she ends up talking with the band's superstar lead guitarist, Russell. And because she isn't seduced by the rock lifestyle, she offers the unprepared Russell her unsolicited motherly advice: "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." IT'S NOT WISHFUL THINKING Bold actions inspire those around you. They create a gravitational pull toward courage that will attract the right people to your work, your business and your cause. When you set out to do serious good in the world by making positive changes and moving people, you tap into a wellspring of folks who're trying to do similar things. And it's here that your efforts shift into the collaborative game of business. THREE WAYS YOU CAN BE BOLD • Uncommon Collaboration — A 50-year-old wedding catering service in Southern California called Jay's holds tasting events every couple of weeks (when COVID isn't happening). Engaged couples can try out their tasty delights, and also on hand are local florists, photographers, wedding location coordinators and planners, so it's a one-stop-shop for couples where every vendor gets exposure. Another example is Virgin Atlantic who collaborated with OnePiece, the original onesie designers, to trial a limited-edition onesie (one- piece comfort wear) for its first-class passengers. Two high-profile brands with very different products yet mutual consumer interests. • Take a Stand — Another form your business boldness might take: taking a stand for a cause that's important to you. Method, the climate-conscious cleaning products business, uses the tagline "People against dirty." And of course there's Apple whose iconic ad in 1984 was a stand against the sameness of Big Brother computing. • Redefine Assumptions — To celebrate their 60th anniversary, Dove launched a campaign to redefine beauty in the skincare industry. From Dove's beauty manifesto: "We believe that beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. Dove inspires women to want to look like the best version of themselves – because looking and feeling your best makes you feel happier." Tesla has made and continues to make bold moves in redefining how we see and shop for cars – they're the anti-gas-guzzler. With a 2020 Market Cap of $292 billion, the closest automaker is Toyota at $204 billion. Tesla is changing the industry for good. BOLD IDEAS PLAY INTO THE LONG GAME When playing the three bold-move business games – cooperation, standing-against and redefining – you're not just hyper-focused on beating the competition, you're focused on doubling down on your own unique brand of greatness potential. So, what's the boldness that's calling your business forward? What's your brand committed to taking a stand for? What are the ways you could disrupt your industry's status quo and be true to your brand? What mighty forces might come to your aid while you're making bold moves? Mighty forces come in surprising packages. Maybe it's the unique way you serve your customers. Maybe it's the way you attract, onboard and train your employees. Maybe it's the unique niche your brand surfs in your blue ocean strategy. Bold solutions pay off in the business long game. And I've found that long-game thinking is nearly always the best business strategy. BOLD MOVES FOR BRANDS How to call mighty forces to amplify your business Steven Morris is a brand, culture and leadership advisor, author, and speaker. Over his 25+ years in business he's worked with 3,000+ business leaders at 250+ global and regional companies. Discover: RO "

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