1. Identity (Who you are being—HIGHEST CONTEXT)
2. Style (How you’re delivering)
3. Content (What you’re delivering)
When presenting information, telling a story, or just sharing information to a group of people or one other person, it is a common mistake to assume that content (the substance of what you are talking about) is of most importance. However, while still important, content is of least importance in contrast to the style of your delivery, and who you are being while delivering the content.
The reason content is least important is because content is abundant; whereas, a dynamic style and a generous, humble, and confident identity is a scarce commodity. Think about this: There is no shortage of places to get a hamburger. Places that serve hamburgers are ubiquitous, and, depending on where you are in the world, this is also inclusive of vegetarian hamburgers. On the contrary, a restaurant that has a unique style of service and a compelling point of view about why the restaurant exists, who its for, and the change it seeks to make, i.e., a consciously nurtured identity, is incredibly rare and more enticing.
In a blind taste test, you may not be able to discern between Bob’s Famous Hamburgers and HiHo Cheeseburger, but you do not choose where you want to dine nor eat blindfolded. You choose where you want to eat and enjoy your meal in the context of your environment, and your perception of your environment does a lot to influence how your brain judges the qualitative nature of your experience.
Content is important but without the context of HOW (style/packaging) and WHY (identity–“people like us do things like this”), content is forgettable and replaceable. Content is easily ripped off and iterated upon. A Rolling Stones cover band is preserving and presenting the Stones’ content. However, it doesn’t sell for nearly as much as an actual Rolling Stones concert ticket, because it cannot capture the same style nor identity that being in a room with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards can.
Your identity is your vibe and essence. People either jive with you or they don’t. Your style is how you provide value and is contingent upon how capable you are at being flexible depending on the makeup of your audience. Lastly, your content is just content–necessary but not sufficient.