At a recent London summit, awash with a staggering twenty trillion dollars worth of potential spenders;
Boris Johnson pledged to turn the UK into the “Qatar of hydrogen” – riffing on his previous vow for it to be the “Saudi Arabia of wind” as it shifts from fossil fuels to renewable power.
The UK Prime Minister using his not inconsiderable journalism skills to grab headlines for his eco-warriorship.
You’re almost surprised he didn’t add, the ‘Brunei of wave’.
Any such country association is often notoriously tricky due to the plethora of jackboot totalitarian murderous regimes with power lottery win on tap. Who wants to really be the ‘China of’ anything? And then there’s the remainder in the Free World, largely considered by as much as half their populace as inept. An aspiration to be the ‘UK of healthcare’ is something said by nobody, ever.
The pair of Arab dictatorships cited above are abhorrent. A particularly vile form of the despicable genre.
Yet you’d struggle to think of a place abundant with self-produced energy that’d gain pleasant recognition.
Certainly not the likes of Russia, Venezuela, Iran.
Norway, what with their astounding sovereign wealth fund vision of the 70s bearing such spectacular fruit from vast North Sea oil reserves?
Denmark, with their deliberate 90s plan to withstand any political strangulation from energy dependence beyond their borders and consequently now world leaders in self-sufficient windpower?
Even the French, with their rush headlong into Nuclear?
Not forgetting the shouts of fans for Michael Porter’s 1990 treatise, The Competitive Advantage of Nations. Including a side effect documented of how countries without resource can become a dominant player through resultant compensating innovation unleashed.
There’s another issue.
And that is one of scale.
I accept that these comments – in the context of their light-hearted welcoming remarks – are meant to elicit a big, bold vision.
Yet in the Sales furnace we inhabit, it is often the micro, not such macro, pronouncements, that gain traction.
I often find myself encouraging the focus on a niche.
Stories that ‘imagine gaining just one percent of all the tea in Asia…’ seldom salivate.
Which brings us onto super-categories. Here, it’s various types of renewables from fossil fuel miners.
In our case, it could be a relatively newly enabled, developed or found type of process, task or source compared with an ‘old’, outdated and soon-to-be defunct way of doing something.
Then there’s switching this around.
What do your wonderful wares allow your customers to become?
Is there a region on the planet or already famed procedure renowned for something similar on which they can draw?
“When it comes to innovative delivery, we’ll make you the Silicon Valley of your sector”.
“When it comes to customer service, you can now be your industry’s One-Click version of delivery”.
“When it comes to curated offers, people will know you as the Scandi-style choice of selection”.
This has a touch of the ‘high concept’ treatment, so beloved by movie pitchers.
The angle here, is that there is a specific and attractive prospect aspiration to evoke.
What works for yours?