brand sprint, strategy sprint

The 3-Hour Brand Sprint

Need to Know

Most websites don't convert readers into clients. Most emails don't engage. This is probably the case for many of your marketing pieces as well. But you can change it. And you will change it, with the three-hour brand sprint.

When Steve Jobs published the 1984 campaign in the NYT it was nine pages of technical details: features, features, features. The campaign tanked. Then Jobs went to Pixar, where he learned storytelling. Back to Apple, he launched a completely different campaign: one face and two words: "think different". A huge success. Why? He used the 5 elements of a relevant and repeatable message, here they are.


What to Do

Pick one of your marketing pieces (your website, a sales page, or similar) and apply these six steps to improve it:


1. Describe the Hero

Common mistake number one: The site describes only features, but not who it is for. The second big mistake is what I call the "reverse hero". The brand itself is the hero (25 testimonials instead of 3). Your brand is the guide, not the hero. You are here to serve your audience, not the other way around. Who is the hero, and what does she want? Define the hero five levels deep.



2. Describe the Problem and the Plan

The hero has a problem (the villain, the nemesis, the enemy) and meets a guide (your brand). When a TV commercial describes how clean a detergent can make your room, it always shows you hairy monsters living under your rug. Because every message needs a villain.

More villains are no villains.

A productivity guru may offer a planning tool, and the villain is the procrastination monster. Pick only one villain, otherwise you create confusion. And if you confuse, you lose. Users have way too many options to click nowadays.

Now the hero meets a guide (your brand!) and the guide has a plan.

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3. The CTA (Call To Action)

The guide invites the hero to action. There is a warm-up action (remember Mr Myagi telling Karate Kid to "wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off"). And there is the direct action ("buy now"). On a sales page you need to repeat the CTA 3-4 times to accomodate different types of readers.



4. How Does Success Look Like

Where can your brand bring the user? Describe how success looks like, how does it feel, what changes in their life, how does it affect the people around them. This is for 20% of your potential clients. 80% prefer to avoid something. What do you help them avoid or get rid off? quote: Most people hate more losing 50 dollars than they like winning 50 dollars.



5. Summarize the Transformation

Now put together all the pieces to summarize a succinct character transformation from A to B. For example for Tesla it would be: In a world that has depleted its resources, who buys a tesla product avoids further depletion of the earth and contributes to accelerating the planet's transition to carbon-free. (This story is the reason why so many of us invest in Tesla. Definitely not their cars).



Key Points

If you confuse, you lose. Improve engagement and conversions in 5 steps.

Use the 5 steps of the Brand Sprint to make your brand message simple, relevant and repeatable.

More villains are no villains. Pick one and your conversions will lift.


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Links and Books 

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz

Recommended Free Tools


Keep rolling!

Simon Severino  



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