In this new world order of being buried by not only traditional advertising on television and print but also by social media, emails, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc., 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 overcrowded blue haze of media bombardment. Why courage? Because to stand out, you have to be brave enough to, well, stand out. The mere definition of standing out means doing something different that no one has ever done before, and that takes a lot of guts.
There is a famous story about Picasso painting a 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 also takes great courage and confidence in your creativity to do something so different from anyone else.
That’s because great advertising and storytelling moves people, shakes them up, and makes them remember your company for the right 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 had 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. A few years ago, a woman was asked what she was going to do with the $100 million she had just won in the New York State Lottery. She 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 have 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 my company and me? I’m in a B2B 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 more important to stand out in a B2B environment than in an open-market situation for a couple of reasons.
First, the B2B environment is not only crowded, but it is also too uniform. Everyone says the same thing, has the same message, and would never dare to try anything different. Being in the interconnect business for many years, I have seen the indignant reaction when one company broke away from the crowd and started advertising. Their competitors acted like they were cheating somehow or that it just wasn’t fair that they were advertising and listing prices per panel. Heaven forbid! That company grew to be one of the more successful in our industry. When you and all of your competitors look the same, feel the same, and say the same thing, it is time for the truly great and innovative companies to stand out by coming up with a new, interesting, and provocative message.
Second, our market has gone global. By using the right media, such as I-Connect007, your brand messages will be seen all around the world, thus increasing the importance of delivering an outstanding, unique, and innovative message.
The third reason has to do with the new world order, including the combination of social media and young people. Today, you have to send out a message that appeals to all generations, and that means being creative and 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.
In the end, the company with the best message will win. Have the courage to come up with, and more importantly, deliver that message to your market.
It’s only common sense.
Dan Beaulieu is president of D.B. Management Group.