Q&A: Stand Out with Sunny Bonnell & Ashleigh Hansberger

Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger discuss how companies need to stand out from the crowd and disrupt the norm to hold a unique position in the market.



Why is disrupting the norm still so important for brands today?

Brands that disrupt categories win. The truth is most companies don’t bother to push the envelope and invest in brand as a total company experience. You have an advantage knowing that most companies are too lazy to do the hard work, so why not take your company to the next level? 

It’s important for brands to not be chained to the status quo and work to carve out a unique position in the market by going against the grain. The world doesn’t notice the average, the ordinary or the common. They notice the standouts, the rare ones. They pay attention to the ones who do things differently and make their hearts beat faster.

How can brands that do not typically practice in disruption get started?

Start by understanding that in order to win, you can’t play like other people play. You can’t think like everyone else. You have to change the way you think about brand and its importance to the success of your company. Brand can’t be left to the marketing department. It’s an inside out job and you have to notice opportunities and seize them. That’s how you disrupt categories.

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What’s the secret?

Don’t settle for mediocrity.

Where does the journey to being the perfect brand truly begin?

It starts with leadership and from within the organization. By understanding who you are and by defining the purpose, vision and values of the organization, you can connect those core truths to everything you do as a company. That’s the foundation for every great brand.

What’s the best advice you can give today’s marketers?

Do you have the vision? Do you have the discipline it takes to overcome any obstacle? And, do you have authenticity, or proof that everything you do and say is a true expression of why you exist, and is clearly understood by your audience? That’s how you know you’ll succeed. You can’t have vision, but not discipline or authenticity. You must have all three.

What are three things that every good marketer should do today?

Ask these questions:  What is your greatest vision? Why does your story matter? How will you succeed?

SunnyBonnell_AshleyHansbergerTheir beginnings were about as humble as it gets. Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger were in the early 20s. Young entrepreneurs with $250 in their collective bank account and big dreams of making a difference in the work they created. It was 2005, in a tiny 14x14 room in an industrial warehouse, where Bonnell and Hansberger kicked into motion the vision that eventually would become Motto. Today, Motto is a passionate team of strategists, writers, designers and developers that have gained a reputation of disruptors with a penchant for winning. Bonnell and Hansberger’s insights can be found across such leading thought leaders as Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, CNBC, and scores of others. We caught up with them to get their take on how to become a world-class disruptor.
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