Leading marketing and creativity expert Ron Tite created a simple yet powerful process to help businesses stand out, unite and inspire their employees with a clear purpose, and foster trusting and real relationships with their customers. It starts with three simple steps: Think. Do. Say.
Ron’s new book, Think Do Say: How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy, Busy World — in stores today! — takes a deep dive into his business philosophy, providing down-to-earth insight and indispensable humour. We’re celebrating his new book by looking back to when Ron first introduced us to the “think, do, say” revolution.
For a limited time only, Ron is offering up to 150 copies of his book with new speaking engagements. Email us for more information.
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Finding Purpose in a Chaotic World
We work in a constant state of chaos. Call it disruption, innovation, or transformation, it changes industry to industry thanks to new technology, changing consumer mindsets, new business models — looking at you Uber — but it’s there.
And, consumers are feeling it too. As marketing, branding , and creativity expert Ron Tite says, it’s like we’re trying to do business in the middle of New York City’s Times Square. Everything is buzzing, we’re surrounded with opportunity, choices, and lots of shiny things, but we’re overwhelmed. We have no idea where to turn first or who to trust with our hard-earned money and, most importantly, time.
So, how can an organization thrive amongst so much chaos? How can they stand out from their shiny competitors and foster trusting and lasting relationships with their consumers?
Ron shared his simple but effective formula with us that can help businesses stand out, even when surrounded by so much chaos, get a leg-up on their competitors, and build strong relationships with their customers. It comes down to how we think, do, and say.
Think: Lead with Purpose
If organizations want to win the battle against chaos, they must have purpose behind what they do. A true purpose goes beyond a product or service and instead defines what’s at the core of the business. Ron says that it starts by finishing the sentence, “We believe that…”
It’s important, Ron says. that this purpose actually represents what a company is doing and not just what they think people want them to do. Learn from the mistakes of companies past, like Audi, a car company who tried to sell cars by attaching themselves to gender equality. Or, Pepsi who ran the ill-fated “world peace” ad campaign starring Kendall Jenner.
These didn’t work because they weren’t authentic or based on a company’s true purpose.
Instead, look at Nike who is doing it right. Their core purpose is to support athletes. Simple. So, how do they do it? Not only by developing state of the art athletic gear, but also by supporting athletes in their beliefs. One of their latest marketing campaigns says “believe in something even if you have to sacrifice everything.” And this explains why they stand behind NFL player Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the American national anthem. This is how you lead with your core purpose.
Do: Reinforce Purpose with Action
Seeing is believing. People need to experience your purpose in order to believe it, so Ron says make sure you do and produce stuff that reinforces your core beliefs.
Determine these actions by answering two key questions: Who are you doing it for? And, what do they want you to do?
Most people want businesses and products to solve a problem for them. But, this problem differs depending on the audience. Define who you want to reach and then determine what you can do for them based on your core purpose.
Equally important, Ron says, is who you do it with. It doesn’t matter what their job title is, or if they’re freelance or permanent, what matters is whether or not they’re aligned with the same purpose and using it to fuel their actions to achieve a common goal.
Say: Tell People About It
The simplest of the three. Once you’ve defined your core belief and put it into action, it’s time to tell people about it, both internally and externally.
When these three align, you’ll have an organization that lines up with its people. It’s this that creates positive brand momentum that will yield high performance internally and the results you want externally.
Case Study: REI
So, let’s see this model in action! Ron calls on Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a US retail outlet for outdoor equipment. Whether you’re going for a hike, taking a camping trip, or looking for a kayak, they sell what you need for all your outdoor adventures. But, their purpose goes well beyond the products they sell.
What do they THINK? Their fundamental belief is that a life lived outside is a life worth living.
What do they DO? They live their belief. On Black Friday, the largest retail holiday in the US, they closed their stores so that their staff didn’t have to deal with the chaos and could instead… enjoy the outdoors. The kicker? REI’s sales did not suffer from opting out of Black Friday, instead their staff returned rested and revived from a day outdoors. This made them more inclined to sell harder and help others do the same.
What do they SAY? They turned Black Friday into a memorable campaign telling people to #optoutside. Eight million people took part.
This happened in 2015 and, although the campaign has grown and changed over the years, it still exists today. For example, if customers want to enjoy a national park, REI will pay for the Uber ride. Their actions continue to tie-in with their core purpose and they make sure people know about it.
In 2017, REI’s managing editor Paolo Mottola was named the Content Marketer of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute.
Join the Think, Do, Say Revolution
It’s not easy, but Ron says all it really takes is commitment. This way of thinking has become the new fundamental to good business and needs to be treated as more than just a checklist. So, get the entire company together and start talking. The only actual barrier facing organizations is not having the guts to be transparent and have those real conversations.
It’s time to own the chaos. Cut through the BS and bring purpose back into what you do.
Currently the Founder and CEO of Church & State, a content marketing agency, Ron Tite is an award-winning advertising writer and creative director who has worked with some of the world’s most respected brands, including Air France, Evian, Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Intel, Microsoft, and Volvo.
His second book, Think. Do. Say.: Building Personal and Organizational Momentum in a Busy, Busy World, challenges people and organizations to ditch the jargon, and start making good things happen for both them and their businesses. Ron’s created a step-by-step guide to help everyone, no matter their industry, job, or organization, get started.
For a limited time, Ron is offering up to 150 copies of his book with new speaking engagements. Email us for more information.