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How Outcomes of Outcomes Thinking Can Radically Transform Your Brand

Approx 4 min. read

Brian Sena

December 22, 2021

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red air jordan 1's with michael jordan's silhouette in one of many doorways

Think about the last time you shopped for clothing online. More often than not the leading question is “what” you want to buy. Take a new pair of running shoes, maybe you have a favorite brand in mind, or you are tussling with the idea of form v. function. Now consider the “Why.” Is the product made and sourced locally to diminish the environmental impact of shipping? Does the company use sustainable materials? Are employees empowered by fair wages and benefits? Why am I buying this? More and more consumers are looking to put their money where their values are.

Big picture thinking increasingly influences purchasing decisions and brand relationships. Consumers are flooded with options, new criteria are evolving purchasing power. They want to know how products are made, who makes them, and where their money goes. Answering these questions with thought and creativity elevates brands beyond the “what.” Ethical clothing manufacturer Everlane calls their version of this movement “Radical Transparency”— they offer cost breakdown on the dollar without retail markup, designing with intention and purpose to drive change for the greater good.

Why vision-driven brands lead

It is human nature to want to be part of something bigger. But this instinct has long been at odds with the big, bad wolf of Wall Street: capitalism and traditional corporate values.

Not anymore.

everlane

Tesla, TOMS, and Everlane are market leaders because they think boldly and differently. Their brands are built around a purpose-driven vision that seeks to solve a previously unsolvable problem. For Tesla, their vision is to eliminate the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. TOMS aims to help children and communities in need by delivering “⅓ of their profits to ‘Grassroots Good.’” The shoes are not only stylish and on trend, but they help a child in need. It’s gratifying to imagine a happy child running around in new shoes. Knowing you made this happiness possible and made a difference in someone’s life feels good (and not just on your feet).

The appeal of a purpose-driven brand is the ability to be part of something bigger than ourselves. On the homepage of their website, Toms has in bold: Impact. These are companies that drive the market to ask, “Why?”.  It is revolutionary and expansive thinking that adds value on the dollar, not just by marketing to a niche, but creating a new one.

Spark wonder and intrigue with the outcomes-based mindset

This type of big picture, outcomes-driven thinking is behind the success of many market leaders. These companies know that achieving an ambitious vision is a marathon not a sprint. For them, strategic, long-term planning is not just about setting goals and outcomes: it is about daring to imagine possibilities that don’t even exist yet.

Ross Mackenzie, renowned sales leader and co-founder of Value Mentor, calls this philosophy “outcomes of outcomes” thinking:

“The outcome of the outcome is what becomes possible now that the previous outcome has been achieved. What options are available or will become available that weren't available before? What problems can now be solved that weren't solvable before? What possibilities arise? What possibilities become seen and known, that weren't seen and known before?”

The outcomes-of-outcomes mindset is about deeper, more visionary thinking. It is the forest through the trees. It is zooming out to zoom in. It is more than just a trendy car, it is a soldier on the front lines of an environmental crisis. 

At Ever Wonder, we live and breathe this philosophy. Ross has been an integral part of our business since the beginning, coaching our leaders and inspiring the way we create outcomes for our clients. We are tirelessly driven to help our clients discover the game-changing possibilities that will create long-term value for their brand.

Unlocking possibilities for your customers is what outcomes-based thinking is all about, Ross says: “When you continue to have outcome of the outcome-based conversations with your clients you create immense long-term value, because you as an individual and your business are no longer associated exclusively with the product or thing you sell. You become associated with the outcomes that become possible for your clients.”

To better understand how outcomes-based thinking works, let’s dig into the catalyst of Nike’s brand transformation. Nike knew their slogan “Just do it” would not only resonate, but reverberate on the heels of the era’s most famous athlete: Michael Jordan. The Air Jordans debuted in 1984, and the league personally wrote Nike a brief detailing how their new trademark “black and red” shoes blatantly broke NBA uniform statutes. Every time Michael Jordan stepped on the court, he was fined $5,000 for sneaker violations. Nike covered the cost. What is most intriguing is that the original shoes that sparked the campaign were the Air Ship in the red/black.  This was the original banned shoe. The Air Jordans were the slam dunk.

Jordan kept scoring in red and black, on and off the court. Nike took their shot at appealing to their audience as trend-setting, rule-breaking champions, thus the evolution of the triumphant epochal Air Jordans. This campaign was not just about selling sneakers, it was about making greatness accessible to everyday people. ” Nike doubled down on a financial investment that was red, hot, and bold. They played the long game and it paid dividends. The Air Jordan 1 were THE sneaker of the 90s. They are the sneaker – now. Nike reshaped not only the reputation of its brand but also the company’s future as they strived to “be legendary.” Nike’s traction on Air Jordan catapulted the brand into iconic pop culture territory. Jordan is not just a shoe, today it is a marketed lifestyle. This is the outcome of outcomes.

Now let’s think through a hypothetical example: your goal is to double sales revenue in three years. What will you be able to do with that increased cash flow? What becomes possible that wasn’t possible before? Maybe it’s the ability to hire new talent and create a training budget. After that vision is realized, what is your next summit? What will a bigger, better team allow you to do? Strengthen client relationships? Build better products? Become a trail-blazer in your field? Yes, yes, yes, and then some. 

summit

Think deeper, aim higher and keep going. There are 14 mountains over 8,000 meters, Everest is the highest but only by about 200m. There are six basecamps before reaching the top of Everest. Yes, it is an elite club. It starts with a dream, requires a team and doesn’t end at the peak, because above it is just more sky. 

Vision creates partnerships.  It unites brands, vendors, and consumers under a common banner and says: let’s reach for the stars.

Dare to wonder what is possible

Whether you’re launching a new business or a new product, now is the time to start (and most importantly, never stop)  imagining, and wondering what is possible. At EverWonder, this philosophy is what drives us. We aspire to build a world of purpose-driven brands that make harmony, not noise, leading with wonder, not judgment. We will train with you, we will sherpa you. We will celebrate at the summit, but then we will ask: “What’s next?” How many eight-thousanders do you want to climb? What mark will you make on the world? Most importantly – Why?

Dare to wonder with us.

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