sly : marketing

Being different is not it

We talk about purple cows; about why we need to stand out from the crowd, and why it’s important being different. Some people make it their quest to be different.

It’s so much easier to be remembered when you’re different, it’s true, as a person, and as a business. But, being different is not it, when it comes to marketing and business.

If you look at a specific group of people, the individuals inside the group will try to be different from people outside the group. But, at the same time, they understand that they belong to the group. So, it means that they’re different than the rest of us, but they’re similar to the people inside the group they belong to.

Look at the people in a band. Are they that different from the other people in the band? They’re not identical. No, they’re not. But, you can probably see the same features. They’re different from you, but not that different from the other people in the band.

Being different is more important than ever. But, it’s still not it.

Attention is not it

As I was driving to work today, I was behind a car that was going very slow. I’m a slow driver myself, so when I write that the car was going very slow, I mean very slow. The speed limit was 70 km/h, and the person in front of me was driving 40 km/h. The line of cars behind it was growing.

Think of this car as a company. It’s still fairly easy to get attention, if all you care about is being different.

How do you make them feel?

How do you think the people driving behind that car feels about the driver? It’s the same when it comes to businesses focusing on being different without involving customers in their story.

What’s working now is doing the opposite; figuring out what people want and finding ways to delight one person at a time.

Are they part of your story?

We need to give people a story to believe in. Ask yourself; what really matters to your customers? Put your heart into what they’re doing. If time is an issue; how can you help your customers save time or do more with their time? Like Amazon, if time is what we focus on right now, you would help your customers find more of what they like – even if you’re not the one selling it.

The subconscious mind

Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95 percent of our decision-making takes place in the subconscious mind. This means that most of the time, we don’t make rational choices. What you should be focusing on is not being different, but the story of how to create difference for your customers.

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