Finding your one-inch punch

Cossette's Glen Hunt on how to create the greatest impact with little resources and time.

Never before have marketers been asked to do so much with so little.

Never before have marketers faced a more disrupted business environment.

Never before has the failure to adapt been so incredibly costly.

Never before has the need to succeed been greater.

And the stakes get even higher, because never before has the scope of change been so all-encompassing and the pace of change so fast.

Today, the consequence of delay can be devastating.

And so, to succeed, you need to be hyper-focused as never before. You need to be able to create the greatest impact, in the shortest period of time, using the fewest resources (time, energy and money).

To deliver on that, you need to find your one-inch punch.

The one-inch punch was made famous by the Shaolin monks. They would, literally, put their fist one inch away from their target and deliver a blow that could replicate a 40-mile-per-hour car crash.

They achieve this incredible impact by aligning themselves to their own inner power and energy. It moves up from their feet, through their bodies and into their arms, and then comes together with quick, totally focused impact, aimed at a very specific location, resulting in an overwhelmingly powerful punch.

Great brands have one-inch punches, as do great people.

Gandhi had a one-inch punch. So did Martin Luther King. Nelson Mandela had one too. All were incredibly focused. They knew who they were, what they stood for and they delivered against their purpose with authenticity, passion and impact.

Similarly, brands with a purpose, and a clear understanding of who they are and what they stand for, have the potential to deliver a one-inch punch. Everything they do is utterly aligned and singular.
Disney, Apple, Zappos, Google and Nike all have a one-inch punch.

Red Bull has a one-inch punch. Everything it does is aligned to the world of “extreme.” Everything it does delivers on that promise and it’s incredibly focused on who its customers are and how to speak to them, whether it’s extreme sports, extreme music or extreme art. The brand impacts at that point with a one-inch punch, is genuine and resonates with its audience and radiates with authenticity.

The power of that punch begins with knowing one’s purpose, having a great passion for what you believe in, knowing your unique abilities (what you’re really good at doing) and mixing that with an understanding of how to resolve the tensions of the people you serve – your customers. And it’s at that inflection point of purpose, your unique skills meeting with the ability to resolve a tension, where your one-inch punch resides.

Unlike some brands and companies that are sapping their energy by delivering an endless stream of wasteful haymakers that are hoping to be knockout blows, those with a one-inch punch are striking with power, precision and success.

So, what is your one-inch punch?









Glen Hunt is chief transformational officer at Cossette, Toronto.