2 min read

🧲 The Right Attraction

35 years ago, Apple Inc released a controversial ad that is widely recognized as one of the most effective advertisements of the 20th century―generating $3.5 million in Macintosh sales without displaying the product itself. The Orwell-inspired “1984” Superbowl Spot positioned Apple as the rogue hero standing up against the “Big Brother” of IBM, the industry standard computer manufacturer at the time.

A decade later, Apple made similar waves by launching an extended Think Different campaign, highlighting “misfits” and “troublemakers” like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Ghandi (among many others). The case they made for buying their products wasn’t that they were better, faster, or lighter, it was that they were different. They planted the proverbial flag in the ground that they were the brand for rebels, outcasts, and outsiders who wanted to break outside the status quo.

We all know a few (dozen) Apple fanatics, but do you know anyone who feels the same about Dell or IBM? Apple gave their audience a clear choice: be one of us or one of them―and in doing so, they effectively established a magnetic brand identity.

Build a Magnetic Brand Identity

To build a loyal audience, you need a magnetic brand identity―but magnets don’t just attract the right energy, they also repel with near-equal strength.

In other words, communicating a magnetic brand identity means revealing enough clarity on who you help and how you help them that you attract and repel people you interact with online. If you aren’t repelling anyone, your brand isn’t strong enough―you’re trying to attract a following with a weak magnet, which never works well.

The Purpose of Your Business

Once you’re ready to build that magnetic brand, the question is… how do you do it? You don’t need to be offensive or rude, but you do need to attract some people and turn other people away―you can’t build a loyal audience with a brand built for everyone. To do that, you need to get clear on the real people you serve, the real problem you solve, and the real solution you offer. Combine these choices into a singular statement of purpose:

I help {real people} solve {real problem} with {real solution}.