The Magic of Different: Setting Yourself and Your Brand Apart

Apple, Disney, TED, Cirque du Soleil and Tesla all are brands that seemingly possess magic. We often use words like innovative, groundbreaking, creative and benchmark to describe the work they do.

Steve Jobs didn’t invent the mobile phone when he released the iPhone in 2007; he made it different. The TED conference didn’t come up with the idea of speakers speaking at a conference; they gave them less time. Walt Disney didn’t invent the theme park; he made it remarkable. Cirque du Soleil didn’t invent the circus; they thought, you don’t have to have poodles jump through flaming hoops to be entertaining.

You’ve heard of the three pillars of a successful business: people, process and product. We’d like to add a fourth: purpose. Every company or organization consists of these four pillars, and you must optimize all of them to create a successful brand that delivers on its promise. Join us as we look behind the curtain to see the magic of different.

Purpose: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

By Terry Weaver

No magic trick has ever been performed without purpose. Magic is seen by the audience because of the principal of “attraction and distraction.” A skilled magician will distract you from what they don’t want to draw attention to and attract your eyes to what they want you to see. Similarly, great organizations illuminate what makes them stand out from their competitors.

Purpose is deeply rooted in vision, and it must be understood internally by your team and externally by your audience. At The Ritz-Carlton, every staff member understands the company’s motto, “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

At Apple, everyone in the world understood what the company was about after watching its now-famous ”Here’s to the Crazy Ones” commercial conveying that they think differently.

When you enter Disneyland, you see a sign that says, “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” Walt Disney wanted everyone to know that as you walk through the gates, the place you are entering will be different.

Elon Musk made it clear to his customers that by making the technology of his batteries open source, Tesla is about more than selling cars.

John C. Maxwell has made his brand about living intentionally. He has said, “Find your purpose, your ‘why,’ and you’ll find your greatest way to make a difference.” The same truth Maxwell applies to his personal brand can be said about events, Fortune 100 companies, hotels and even cars.

TED flipped the events industry on its head when they said, “Let’s get more people on stage and give them less time, because there are more than five smart people in the room.” Their mission is simple: to spread ideas.

Purpose is something we demand from every person who stands on a stage or sits at the head of a boardroom table. We want to know that what they are going to say will make our project, company, organization or lives better. Most of us have an internal understanding of our purpose, but we lack the clarity to communicate it to others.

As someone who has taken the stage thousands of times on behalf of conferences, organizations, churches, companies and schools, I’ve learned that the clearer my purpose, the more powerful an impact I can make. The more I understand the target I need to hit, the more accurate I can be with every word I use. The magic that happens with the clarity of purpose is simple; nothing happens by accident. It happens on purpose. It’s not an accident these high-performing organizations are innovating at a higher level than others. They have clearly defined what matters most and don’t leave anything to chance. Great brands, companies and events are most magical when leaders define their vision; the team understands not only what they do, but why they do it; and the audience notices something is different. Not everyone does it, and that’s why it’s magical.

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