5 Lessons from Opportunus Founder’s book: “The B Word.”



Founder and CEO of Opportunus, Chris Fogg, created Opportunus based on his experience within the branding and advertising industry. Chris became tired with many seeing branding as a mere “colouring in” exercise with agencies charging a premium for empty brand pieces with a cookie cutter approach and little thought into how they fit into the wider customer experience. When carefully crafted, a brand can be the stitching that sews every element of a wider business together, effectively communicating what the company is about, what it stands for and what makes it unique. This is why at Opportunus we rarely apply popular “off the shelf” tactics or models. This approach to our consultancy ensures the outcomes we deliver are totally attuned to the unique and individual needs and aspirations of our client partners.


The B Word, a book written by Chris, available to download for free on our website, outlines Opportunus’ four pillars; purpose, intuition, clarity and results. Here we will share five lessons from the book focusing on the untapped potential that lies in brand when developed properly.  


Repositioning the market


Firstly, it is important not to get clouded in your thinking by rapidly pursuing any avenue to differentiate against one’s competitors. Everyone is looking to stand out from the noise of their market and there is minimal benefit to constantly looking sideways. To become a sector leading brand, one should look to reposition the market. Spend time speaking with your audience to truly understand what their pain points are and what they find valuable in your products/services. Once you understand this, double down communicating this through every touch point. Making these products your hero that solves these customer issues will help stimulate growth and keep your customers engaged with your brand. Start by picturing this potential for your hero product or service.


If you want to take your business to the next level, don’t start by formulating a plan, establish your vision, then challenge your thinking, ask questions like could this be more? Where could this lead? By adopting this approach you can be satisfied that you are maximising the given opportunity and the potential for your business.


What makes you different?


Next, at Opportunus, we like to explore the notion of uniqueness and not the more absolute concept of “unique.” This is because ideas and concepts in business are rarely ever unique; they usually have their origins someplace else, just as good design inherently mimics nature, successful business concepts, to some degree, inherently mimic human nature. We encourage business leaders not to be disheartened by this, but look to differentiate, which when deployed with purpose, and not a manic attempt to stand out from one’s competitors by any means necessary, can deliver significant competitive advantage. 


Be authentic


Thirdly, we encourage leaders to not merely aspire to traits you admire in other businesses but rather to identify the factors that represent your business and to communicate that ethos with the most purity, honesty, and authenticity. Shift your focus away from creative ways to be different and focus on opportunities to build upon the language of your sector. It is not just about finding gaps in your market, but building on the existing language of this sector, using such foundations to elevate your business. Be different, but with true purpose. Being rigorous in reflecting upon and harnessing the obvious fundamentals of your business can align your offerings to the most important requirements of your audience without complications, thus giving your proposition purpose, clarity and resonance. Being authentic will allow all elements of your business to be aligned, creating a truly seamless and harmonious brand and customer experience. Working with our clients, it becomes abundantly clear that the “obvious” is indeed not that obvious.


Simple communication techniques are seldom deployed and we can almost always make an immediate impact on a client’s business. Thus, it is important for businesses to be self-reflexive, take a step back, ask yourself “what do we want to be for our customers and what do they want us to be for them.”


What value do you bring to your customers?


Next up, we firmly believe that people don’t buy what you sell, they buy what you enable. Customers don’t buy your product or service, they buy the value that you add to their lives. Does your product or service enable them to spend more time on what they are good at? Does it enable them to live a more connected life? What could they do with the hour they saved by using your service? Often businesses do not effectively communicate their value to their potential customers with significant potential waiting to be communicated and unlocked, which is exactly why Opportunus was created. To identify and activate these growth opportunities for our client partners. 


Branding is more than design


One of the most important lessons in branding is to understand that design is so much more than a great logo and a solid colour palette. Branding impacts every element of your business. In the dictionary definition of design, the problem-solving aspect comes before the aesthetic. It is impossible to craft a solid brand without true understanding of one’s audience and their needs. To brand is to promote a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. Yet a common mistake made by marketing teams is limiting design to visual aspects of the business; just the corporate image and its presentation. This overlooks a vast amount of latent potential to optimise the performance of many aspects of your business beyond marketing. When you rethink design as problem solving, you unlock the ability to realise a far greater level of effectiveness. This process should not begin with a plan, but with vision. In order to capture this vision, one must visualise and indeed, this is a form of design.


At Opportunus, we stress the importance of branding linking back to customer experience. This problem solving is crucial to an effective branding effort. The broader power and effectiveness of design is in applying it to define the function, hierarchy and architecture of your business. If you can visualise the potential for your business, then it can be realised.

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