The strategy proposes an action plan. Let’s launch our hypothesis and begin to validate it live. Before, this whole process took a long time. Nowadays, things can be tested live. Beyond that, we are working with a great amount of information. We know what we want, our aspirations and everything we have determined through the Brand Foundation process. Plus, market reports and information is more available than ever. Our hypothesis is based on that, and still, it’s just a place from where to start.

It’s common to be frozen by fear of not having all the data and insights before you launch your brand, but it’s more about having an actionable framework from which to propose and validate, allowing yourself mistakes and room for improvement and growth. The good thing is that we can validate it in many ways and adjust accordingly. Yor brand grows organically and is in constant evolution so you must manage it day to day with your why and mission as guiding principles.

We used to print brand manuals, but now they’re digital. We can update them. We can expand it if we feel so inclined. Let’s imagine how this goes. You start with three user personas and, as we progress, we determine that this other person is also part of the tribe. Or we learn more specific data about one of them, so we refine the message. The strategy, the plan, the hypothesis feeds on reality. It feeds on data. Your business is a live feedback loop.

We try things. We receive data. We improve and we try again. However, certain things will never change. Your values. Who you are and what you believe in. When you test, you've got a framework from which to build. You have things to fix. By testing, you establish general rules for the game, and the tactics vary according to what you learn.

It's difficult to define success because it varies from case to case. The Goodyear Agency usually makes it a point to ask the client: what does success mean to you? More than once.

Whatever Answer You Give, All You Need are 1000 Fans

This idea isn’t new. Kevin Kelly (co-founding editor of wired magazine) coined it back in 2008. You don't need everyone to love you. What you need is a group of people who are into your company or product. This is a fact, your loyal customers are responsible for roughly 80% of your revenue. The rest are new acquisitions, those come and go, but it’s that small group of between 10-20% of "True Fans” who will keep the lights on.

They are the ones who are always present in your events. The ones who appreciate and value what you have to offer. The ones waiting in lines, outside, in the pouring rain. You want to build value for these people. They will be your supporters and advocates. If you respect them and stay true to your promise they will speak well of you everywhere, and they are capable of repeating your message much more than you. So, they are the ones we will focus on.

It’s the same for any company, for anyone who is trying to attract groups of people or needs an audience. You can focus on your niche market. However, it can be easier to focus on how to talk to your thousand people. On how to connect with them and most importantly how to solve their problem so you may make their lives better. So answer these questions as you think about how you want to grow your business.

Who are your thousand people?

How can we create our brand strategy around them?

What does success mean to you?