It’s time to forget about being one of the crowd.
All through your school days being different was tantamount to social suicide.
However, you’re in business now, and things are very different.
Being the same as everyone else is the last thing you want.
It’s time to become the stripy elephant
Here’s a scenario for you.
George needs a new widget and looks around for a supplier.
He identifies five potential companies, sends them a brief outlining what he’s looking for and then sits back and waits to see what they come up with.
Four out of the five come up with a square widget that all function in similar ways – very little to differentiate between them. The fifth contender suggests a round widget.
When looking at the proposals, George is immediately drawn to the round widget and shortlists that company. Then he turns to the other four; there’s not a lot to separate them, so he picks the one with the most professional approach.
Now he’s down to his final two and invites them to present their ideas. Both pitches go well. Although sceptical about the round widget (because all his competitors’ widgets are square), he listens intently to the pitch. The more he hears, the more he likes it. It’s different to everyone else’s, which will make his standout.
He’s convinced; he goes with the round one.
Make your content stand out
Frequently, clients come to me looking for something different. They’re fed up reading the same old corporate copy that’s rife in their industry, and they want to be stand out.
We talk through options, and I create content that’s as far from corporate as they can get. The initial reaction is good. They can see it makes them stand out, that the language used disrupts the norm (in a good way).
After spending many hours crafting the perfect content in the style agreed, the first draft is sent to the client for review.
The problem is, since our first meeting, cold feet have started to set it.
Someone else in the team has started sowing the seeds of doubt. Do they want to be so radically different? Surely, if everyone else in their industry is corporate, they should be too?
The original desire to stand out and be proud of their individuality vanishes and I’m instructed to change the tone to make it more corporate.
A huge opportunity missed.
Have the courage of your convictions
If a customer is looking for a supplier and you’re in the mix of ten potential companies, you have to differentiate yourself.
When all your websites look and sound the same, with little else to mark you all apart, you need luck on your side.
However, if your website looks, sounds, and feels different, you’re already a step ahead of the rest.
The customer is more likely to be drawn to your fresh approach and read what you have to say. They’ll see you being individual, perhaps innovative in your approach, and as a company that does things differently.
Now you’re in with a much better chance of being picked.
Our customers want corporate
Do they though?
I’m told this all the time; customers expect companies to act in a certain way in specific industries.
This does not convince me.
Customers want to deal with companies that convince them they’re what they’re looking for. Forget your marketing jargon and corporate drivel – speak naturally, and your words will have far more impact. For starters, it won’t look as though you’re hiding behind stock phrases because you don’t have anything else to say.
Look at Apple and Amazon. They weren’t afraid to stand up and be different. They dared to do things their way.
The whole look and feel of their marketing is refreshing to the point others are trying to copy them.
Come on; it’s time to be brave and stand up for your individuality.
Let your personality shine through your marketing and forget what everyone else is doing.
Talk to me about where you want to be and how you want to be seen, and I’ll work with you to create that persona. Trust me, being different is good. It will transform your business.
Sally Ormond is an international freelance copywriter adept at altering her clients’ online personalities to create the persona that makes them stand out. Call her on +44(0)1449 779605.