I have to take exception with Seth Godin's post today. (Go ahead and read it. I'll wait.)
For those of you who don't want to read it, his basic message is that once your brand becomes exceptional (whether in your own eyes or in the eyes of the public), you lose ground because you won't change. Why would you change "perfect"?
He says... "The problem with brand exceptionalism is that once you believe it, it's almost impossible to innovate."
Unless your brand is set up on Values.
The truly exceptional brands are those based on a set of core values, not on a particular product or service. Values are timeless. Values remain the same through the ages. How you show those values, however, changes from time to time.
For instance, our core values are Fun, Education, Helpfulness, Nostalgia. The products we sell are constantly changing and improving. The services we offer have to adapt and innovate with the new needs of customers. The way we market our store, the way we merchandise our products, even the way we ring you up at the checkout goes through countless innovations. We are constantly looking for innovations in how you Experience our store.
But Fun, Education, Helpfulness, and Nostalgia will never go out of style. And as long as we stay true to our values while staying current with ways to implement those values, we can have Brand Exceptionalism and Innovation.
They are not mutually exclusive when you set your Brand up on Values.
Wanna learn how?