Ask the wrong question and you’ll get the wrong answer. But change the question and maybe you’ll smash a world record. Or double your growth. That’s what happened when Hope Reins stopped asking “how do we become a $1MM organization” and asked instead “how do we start looking like one.” Did you see that?
Wrong Question: How do we become a $1MM organization?
Right Question: How do we look like one?
The right question can change everything.
Here’s another example. In 2001, an unassuming Japanese college student doubled the world record at Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. In 12 minutes, Kobayashi (known as Kobi) smashed the existing record and ate 50 hot dogs. His secret: he changed the question.
During training, while all of his competitors were asking themselves “how can I eat more hot dogs,” Kobi started asking himself “how can I make hot dogs easier to eat.” Did you see that?
Wrong Question: How can I eat more hot dogs?
Right Question: How can I make hot dogs easier to eat?
Redefine the problem. Outthink your competition. Reject artificial barriers.
The New York Times bestseller – Think Like a Freak – calls what Kobi did redefining the problem and outthinking his competition. He started experimenting with things like eating the hotdog and bun separately and dunking the bun in water. He also rejected artificial barriers. Instead of accepting the existing record, Kobi tricked his mind.
“Solving a problem is hard enough,” he said. “It gets that much harder if you’ve already decided it can’t be done.”
So how did Hope Reins do it? They outthought the competition by asking a different question. They redefined their problem by focusing on perception. And they rejected artificial barriers by overcoming the thought that they “couldn’t afford design.”
Hope Reins stopped focusing on how to raise money and started focusing on how they looked so they could project a visionary brand by looking the way they wanted to be perceived.
Ask the wrong question and you’ll get the wrong answer. 100% of the time.
But change the question and the sky’s the limit. Once Hope Reins decided their brand identity needed to “grow up,” they took the leap of faith to invest in marketing. And grow up they did through an inspiring journey of brand evolution that changed the face and future of the organization.
Within 18 months, Hope Reins grew its annual revenue from $350k (2015) to $1MM+ (2017). Just like Kobi, Hope Reins more than doubled its revenue goal. And it took them less than two years. There’s a cherry on top too. In 2018, five families have already committed to investing $25k per year for the next 3 years.
The proof is in the pudding. Sharp marketing works.
If you need help changing your question and would like a non profit marketing strategic partner to assess the questions you’re currently asking, we’d love to help. Just give us a shout.
– Caitlin Clinard, Founder and President