In this new world order of being buried by not only traditional advertising on television and print but also by email and social media, it has become more important that you find a way to make your company distinctive. Now more than ever is the time to find a way to make your company stand out and be remembered. Obviously, this is easier said than done. To do this takes a great deal of creativity and most importantly, courage.
In fact courage might be the most important element in making your company stand out in this over- crowded blue haze of media bombardment. Why courage? Because to stand out you have to be brave enough to, to well… stand out. The mere definition of standing out means doing something different, doing something that other companies are not doing, and that takes a lot of guts.
There is a famous story about Picasso painting the portrait of his friend Gertrude Stein. Instead of painting her in the traditional way as she expected, he painted her in his “Picasso” way. Once she saw it, she told him she didn’t like it. To which he responded, “You will.” And if you think about that for a minute you will realize that this represents the very essence of great advertising. It takes great courage and confidence in your creativity to do something so different from anyone else.
Great advertising – great storytelling actually – moves people, shakes them up, and makes them remember your company for the right reasons; the reasons that will make you identifiable in a very crowded marketplace filled with sameness and redundancy.
Great marketing takes people where they need to go, not where they want to go. As Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Most people think within the confines of their own limited box of reality, unable to lift their heads high enough to see beyond the edges of that box.
One lady a few years ago when asked what she was going to do with the hundred million dollars she had just won in the New York State Lottery, promptly answered, “Buy that new double-wide I’ve had my eye on.”
From a great little book called Hegarty on Creativity: There are no rules. “Inspiring people isn’t a mathematical process. You’ve got to surprise yourself as well as your audience. There is some randomness in creating that must be celebrated, not scorned. If you look up the word ‘surprise’ in the dictionary, you’ll notice that nowhere does it say, ‘as expected.’
I realize some of you are thinking, “What does this have to do with me and my company? I’m in a B to B business. I don’t sell to the public so why do I need to pay attention to this kind of outstanding message marketing?” Let’s just say that it is actually more important in a B to B environment to stand out than in an open-market situation, for a couple of reasons. The first is that the B to B environment is not only crowded, but it is too uniform. Everyone says the same thing, has the exact same message, and would never dare try anything different from others in their industry. Being in the interconnect business for too many years, I have seen the indignant reaction when one of our companies broke away from the crowd and actually started advertising! Their competitors acted like they were cheating somehow, that it just wasn’t fair that they were advertising, and they were listing prices per panel. Heaven forbid! That company grew to be one of the more successful in our industry. When you and all your competitors look the same, feel the same and say the same thing, it is time for the truly great and innovative company to stand out by coming up with new and interesting and yes, a truly provocative message. The second reason is that our market has gone global. By using the right media like this publication, your brand message is being seen all around the world, thus increasing the importance of delivering an outstanding, unique and innovative message. And oh yes, there is a third reason and that has to do with the new world order. The combination of social media and young people. Now more than ever we have to send out a message that appeals to all generations and that means being truly creative. Being out there where the air is rare when it comes to being unique. And don’t forget that with the instant exposure that social media brings, the right creative messaging by your company could make you world famous overnight.
The company with the best message will in the end win out. Have the courage to come up with and more important that courage to deliver that message to your market.
It’s only common sense.