I Listening to Youngme Moon has me fascinated. You know I love marketing, and I spend a good part of every day helping my clients stand out from their respective crowds.
According to Moon, the author of “Part from the Pack, Meaningfully”, the genius of the brand is often in the negative.
Think about Twitter, now one of my favorite social media platforms. Think back to when it came out. I remember trying to get one of my kids to explain it. “So let me get this straight, it’s just a whole ton of status updates?” Who cared about that? But in a word of social media that was getting more complex, more conversational, as we were spewing out diatribes on Facebook, Twitter turned it on its head. Genius.
Moon also mentioned Ikea, who follows none of the traditional value propositions of the furniture industry. Imagine if someone came to you with the concept of a furniture brand, but you were going to have no interior designers, make people lug huge boxes into their cars, then build the furniture themselves. Different value proposition? Or a crazy idea?
Think about the Mini Cooper. In 2004, we were driving mini vans and SUVs. In comes Mini Cooper, a brand never seen in the US. The turned the marketing on its head, and instead of trying to be LIKE everyone else, they said, yeah, we’re vastly smaller. They had ads wine Mini Cooper strapped to the top of an SUV. Different? Crazy? Hard to say. Successful? YES.
Moon says of you want to be different from your competitors, you have to have a different idea. Staying competitive implies you are LIKE your competition, not different. It reminded me of the famous quote from Henry Ford, “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
Do something that no one in your category is doing. Might be one of the hardest challenges you receive. I’m thinking it might also be the most important.
Karen Yankovich is a social media brand strategist, business consultant and speaker, and the CEO of Uplevel Media. Having ‘been there and done that’ in the arena of losing (and then re-finding) a focused approach to business and life, Yankovich now offers coaching and consulting for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Her unique specialty blends her ‘get it done’ attitude with a passion for authentic connection in her personal services and online workshops. Social media and LinkedIn Evangelist, Yankovich guides entrepreneurs to creating wealth by combining smart business practices with simple proven systems that develop and maintain strong customer relationships. She offers results oriented and expert conversational marketing strategies that position her clients to bring in instant results. Yankovich’s background includes over 30 years in the fields of information technology, marketing and customer relationships, making social media her ideal niche. www.karenyankovich.com