What can brands learn from athletes?

Klutch Studio

What we can learn 1200x780

You will have naturally followed a sports star’s winning performance on the TV at some point. Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, Adam Peaty winning his first Olympic gold or any one of the british riders winning the Tour de France over last few years. These performances are years of hard work in the making, for a few seconds of glory and a lifetime of fame and hopefully well-deserved fortune!

What’s this got to do with brands I hear you ask. Well, a lot actually.

We are all seeking to be better, and we know about goal setting. But have you heard of marginal gains? It’s this process that I have taken from sport and we are now applying to our work with brands.

As a sportsman (a while ago) myself I was always looking to break down my performances both in the training and in competition to find small gains that would help me swim faster and ultimately lead me to my ultimate goal, a personal best time and a winning performance. It went deep and it was more then just turning up to training each day, nothing was left to chance, diet, sleep, mental, equipment, these are all elements within your control, by improving them all even if only a little bit they would all add up to bigger gains in the pool.

The term marginal gains was first used by Dave Brailsford of the Team Sky (now Ineos) and British cycling. Why were the British cycling team so successful at the Beijing Olympics, marginal gains! Other countries have now caught up to this thinking and the playing field has levelled somewhat. It’s something you can’t ignore anymore if you want to win. You see it in all sports now.

Turn to business and brands and you see big lofty goals set for sales teams, and there are skilled teams in place to help deliver this. But dig a bit deeper and each of these teams could do with some marginal gains to help achieve these goals.

When we work with brands we take a deep dive, understand the problems and get into the business, spending time in their offices (one of the most valuable places to find gains) getting under the skin of the business and the staff, seeing what makes them tick and talking to customers both existing and potential new ones. We then develop ideas, some are tiny enhancements, some are part of a bigger strategy, we create, iterate and test, we gather intel and refine.

Our top tips to finding those marginal gains in your business:

  1. Focus on your own lane – you can’t control what your competitors are doing, so focus on what you can control.
  2. Take a step back – sometimes you can be to close to things, change you thinking and put yourself in your customer's shoes.
  3. Talk, talk, talk – often the ideas are in there you’ve just got to tease them out.
  4. Test – even when you think you nailed it, test it out amongst your audience, then you’ll know for sure.
  5. Don’t be scared to try new things – getting ahead means you need to be doing things others aren’t. Otherwise, how are you going to win?
  6. Listen – to every bit of feedback, dig deeper if you need to it’s all valuable insight.

If you are interested in how we can help your brand find marginal gains get in touch for a chat today, kevin@klutch.studio