What do you need to LEAVE OUT in your message?

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Having spent time as a video editor I know full well the importance of what you leave out in your communications as much as what you leave in.

When clients have asked me to make a video, the natural temptation and habit is for them to ask me, ‘Ooh and can you include this, and this, and this?’

More is assumed to be better.

But there’s a well-used phrase in journalism, ‘They’ll never know what you left on the cutting room floor’.

In order to get a clear message across, sometimes you have to let go of some of the benefits/ features/ bonuses that you could possibly offer… so that people know what you really DO stand for.

I was reminded of this recently reading a news article on the fashion label Ted Baker, who are outperforming rival high street chains and seem to have cornered the market for high street luxury.

It stood out for me because Ted Baker’s founder and Chief Executive Ray Kelvin credited their success to what they WEREN’T doing, rather than what they were.

He said, ‘We don’t make ourselves so readily available, we don’t oversell and we’re not hungry for profit’.

Ted Baker have made a conscious decision not to open too many stores, and to be careful where they do open them. They haven’t reacted to the increase in low-cost rival online fashion brands by lowering their own prices, or increasing their amount of online promotions.

They are clear what they DO do, which is offer ‘affordable luxury’. They are behaving like other successful luxury brands, who also purposely DON’T do certain things, like have hundreds of stores or readily offer online discounts.

This behaviour reinforces the brand’s message and what it stands for. Ted Baker is classy. It’s the place to go for high-end high street fashion.

Offering too many discounts, promotions, or even shops, would confuse and ultimately undermine that message and would prevent them owning the ‘middle-market retail ‘sweet spot’’ that they’re doing so well in right now.

When it comes to personal branding or branding for your business, everything you do and say contributes to your brand and message. The temptation when we’re feeling a bit fuzzy and unclear about that, is to just put loads of stuff out there and hope some of it sticks. But you won’t create loyal customers that way.

It takes courage and honesty not to be desperate, but ‘more’ isn’t always ‘better’.

Step back and see what it is about what you do that you absolutely 100% cannot do without. What do you stand for? And is there anything you’re doing right now that’s getting in the way of that?

Are you ready to share your message with the world?

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