I’ve always loved taking pictures. When I was a kid, I had one of those cheapo Kodak cameras where you just click, and whatever you see is what you get.

Later, I graduated to a 35mm camera and learned the joys of focus. Instead of everything in the frame being equal, the goal is to guide the eye to something very specific.

So it is with business and branding. If we want to be understood and remembered, we have to have a very targeted focus – a message that can be understood in seconds and remembered for its specificity.

See how fellow branding consultant and author Lindsay Peterson accomplishes this on her home page (where her message, not surprisingly, is about finding your focus!):

  1. Note that she is narrowing the meaning of the term “brand” here (which can be interpreted in lots of different ways) to specify positioning and targeted focus. This is not about logos and color palettes and advertising campaigns. It’s about determining the brand sweet spot.
  2. “Laser” metaphor and the fine orange lines – a great visual to reinforce the point.
  3. Appeal to personal experience – a common problem with unfocused companies is that they are trying to do too many things (“compete on all fronts”). This is the practical, simple diagnosis that a business leader can relate to (not some branding abstraction).
  4. “We fix that.” Her value proposition, in the simplest possible terms.

Genius is not found in complexity. True genius is in simplicity. When it comes to clarity of focus and message, we need to make it as simple and compelling as possible. Because it’s a noisy world out there and customers don’t have the time or energy to figure out our brand value!

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