By Robert Craven, MD of The Directors' Centre
“To succeed we must stop being so goddamn normal"
“To succeed we must stop being so goddamn normal. In a winner-takes-all world, normal equals nothing”
[K Nordstrom & J Ridderstrale, Funky Business]
Normal is everywhere. Wherever we look we see a thousand shades of grey and another thousand shades of beige. Just lots of dull, “me-too”, boring, look-alike, tired, safe businesses all too frightened to do anything other than look like the rest. And my word is it boring!
- In a room full of grey accountants how do I know which one to buy from?
- In a supermarket with 50 different varieties of toilet paper/toothpaste/washing powder which will I choose?
If they all look identical (promising the same thing in the same way) then my decision will end up based on packaging (or branding). But if the packaging (the promises) all look identical then all I can do is buy on price. Of course the packaging that is different, that stands out, is the one that will get noticed. And as a result the greater the chance of a sale.
People are fed up with characterless products and services designed by a generation of graphic artists and marketers with little sense of the concept of the word ‘unique’. These products either look for some gimmicky characteristic to differentiate themselves or, more usually, they rely on the follower strategy, copying the class leader.
Please note, in a team of huskies it is only the dog at the front that has a good view.
Are you happy being a follower?
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