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Don’t fall into Mediocrity …

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

As a startup that consults to water software startups and water leaders, I undoubtedly face some of the same challenges as my clients. One of the scariest and most important hurdles along the way through brand development and corporate identity is finding your (company’s) voice. At some point you will need to take a stand, draw a line in the sand, and vocalize what it is you are all about.

If done authentically, you will grab some attention – wanted, unwanted, and unexpected. You will likely resonate with your core audience and piss off a few people along the way. You will start to find out what your competitors, allies, partners, and clients really think about your work and mission. And all of that can be a bit daunting – who wants to place themselves in such a vulnerable state?

Sure, it’s easier to take the generic road to messaging. But who really cares about generic? Your customers want to know what you can do and are doing for them. Not what the rest of the industry is vaguely doing.

“Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed.” ~ Walter Russell

The reality is, however, that unless you find that authentic voice and focus, you will be nothing more than a mediocre player with vanilla messaging, making it that much harder to connect with the people you really want to do business with. By communicating directly to your target audience with the core beliefs of your company, you will begin to:

  1. Establish trust,

  2. Evoke emotion,

  3. Build a fan base, and

  4. Build real relationships.

During this process, you will find that some of the people you respect and want to do business with begin to find you as a threat. You may also find unexpected allies throughout the process. By sharing the your passion and direction, you will begin building a support system that will help you further refine your product, understand the needs of your customer and build a solid foundation to grow your company.

I recently experienced this firsthand as I have been building a major component of H2.O. Through the process of engaging in dialogue with my fan base, and communicating my passion for finding ways to connect a highly fragmented industry, I have been able to create a focused program that meets the need of my key stakeholders. I also found some competitors where I thought I had allies and allies where I thought I had competitors.

Be true to your company’s mission – take a stand. Show the market what it is you do and tell them what you think, without apologies. Don’t inflict mediocrity on yourself or your business – there is already enough vanilla.

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