Are you lagom?

I came across the word ‘Lagom’ (pronounced “la-gum”) recently. It’s Swedish and means, just right. Not too much. Not too little.

I wrote it on a post-it and have had it stuck to my computer for the last four weeks. It acts as a constant reminder of staying in balance or being in the place of ‘just enough’.

The tricky thing about this is finding the line – when does too little become too much. And do we need to cross the line to realise it, or can we simply hold the line?

It’s an easy one to apply to your body because it tells you at some point (the feedback is getting earlier by the minute thanks to predictive data and AI) that you pushed too hard and need to pull back.

But what about your brand? How do we know we have pushed too hard or we need to crack the whip? 

Marketing speak for pushing too hard is – saturation. This can be good and bad. Good in the sense that you have a solid level of brand awareness. Not so good though because everyone is sick of you… and when it comes to your content they just scroll by (and in some cases block you).

When we are one channel focused, i.e. posting to LinkedIn only, we are hitting up the same people over and over again with our messaging. This is all well and good if the content is meaningful, helpful and provides value to your audience (which may include one or more of the following: customers, investors, employees, suppliers, partners).

How you go about providing meaning, help and value (overtime) – demonstrates to your audience what makes your brand unique and valuable. This is what we call positioning. The stories that you tell at every touch point are positioning your brand in the hearts and minds of your stakeholders.

An email I recently signed up to has constantly disappointed me. At every opportunity they are trying to sell. I have already purchased one of their products and by continuing the hard sell they are making me feel like the product I have already purchased is incomplete. It left a bad taste and so I no longer trust them – subsequently every time I come across them I am now looking for evidence to support this thinking.

The point here is – ‘Lagom’ is relative to your audience and your message. 

One of the questions that I always get asked is – how many times a day/week should I be posting. It’s a nothing question for me because the focus becomes about you and the output and not your audience. If you forget for a second that you can post every hour of the day/week and switch this to what if I only could post once a year – how would this change the content you put out there? (This takes us back to the old days when TV, print, radio and outdoor advertising were the main go to… and because of the cost alone you put all your effort in creating the best content you possibly could). 

To check whether your brand is in a place of saturation you need to be regularly reviewing your brand performance using both qualitative and quantitative measures. 

The measures of brand saturation are the same as brand fatigue: sales dropping, less traffic to your website, social media engagement numbers are down and customer average spend has plateaued or in decline along with your brand awareness. 

You can also ask for direct feedback from the people you want to reach – across all your communication channels (email marketing, social media, trade-shows, outdoor advertising, PR, print, digital advertising, events, intranet, sales teams, etc). What do they think about your content and is it adding meaning, help and value to their lives? 

If you are genuinely seeking the truth, it will come to you. Be open and learn forward. This is what makes marketing so fabulous. It’s constantly an optimisation game!

So back to Lagom… where is your brand? Too little? Too much? Or Lagom?

(Your answer will most likely dictate your 2024 (and beyond) marketing strategy… if you want to chat about this, I am always up for a coffee to talk marketing strategy. My new favourite cafe is Stitch in QVB, Sydney).

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