I’m always really interested to hear people in non-marketing and non-editorial jobs talk about how they make a living and the way they deal with the challenges they face in their industries. It’s a great way to get some inspiration and find ways to think about things a bit differently.
One topic that’s stuck in my mind for researching is the idea of belief – the idea that brands should have a clear belief (not a proposition or a strategy – that’s for the executives) that is integral to the project/product, the team, and the people who interact with it. And whether you need to start with a belief, if it’s possible to introduce one, and how you can find people who already share yours.
Obviously religion is a belief-based system, but I saw a great example today of something I can more readily understand – football!
A non-league team who train and play around their 9-5 jobs, Histon FC, played Leeds United today, a team that has won the English league, played in European competitions, and that is currently chasing promotion back into the top English league.
And they beat them, 1-0, to know them out of the FA Cup competition.
Watching them, it was clear that the Histon team were full of belief and weren’t scared of a team three leagues above them. And although their belief wasn’t the only factor – Leeds should have scored twice, and the weather and pitch conditions also helped the non-league side – it was the biggest one in their success as they were able to keep going.
It’s also what seems to separate world champions in any sporting discipline – in motorsport, for example, the likes of Valentino Rossi and Mick Doohan, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna (F1), Sebastien Loeb and Tommi Makinen (World Rally). They all differ in their personalities, with Rossi standing out as the best example of a world champion (eight times) who appears relaxed and mischevious, but carries a huge amount of confidence and self-belief.
Now this isn’t news. Plenty of psychologists have looked at sporting success or celebrity and spotted the planet-sized self belief that powers these people.
In marketing and social media, the concept isn’t new: Mark Earls coined the term “Purpose Idea”
‘Put really simply, the Purpose-Idea is the “What For?” of a business, or any kind of community. What exists to change (or protect) in the world, why employees get out of bed in the morning, what difference the business seeks to make on behalf of customers and employees and everyone else? BTW this is not “mission, vision, values” territory – it’s about real drives, passions and beliefs. The stuff that men in suits tend to get embarrassed about because it’s personal. But it’s the stuff that makes the difference between success and failure, because this kind of stuff brings folk together in all aspects of human life.’
What I’m interested in is finding as many great examples of this working within marketing and business, and externally. Sport, Religion, Manufacture, Publishing, – anywhere it can be found. Because that’s how you can show the transformation it can make to those who haven’t tried it. And the more belief that is in the brands I work with, the easier it makes marketing them!