Thursday, April 20, 2006

Put on Our Thinking Caps!

"With imagination, almost any product or service, from a company of any size, can become a star in even the toughest, most competitive corners of the global marketplace." -Tom Peters

My problem is figuring out how!

I understand the philosophy, but when you're in an industry that sells a service that people basically need but don't want, how do you do this?

In case you're interested (and judging by my readership...you're not!) I work for a small company that provides consulting services in environmental health and safety. Asbestos inspections, mold testing, industrial hygiene, etc. All very exciting stuff. It's something that people are told they should worry about, but don't really want to focus on .

Add to that the fact that the chances of someone being inspected and cited are so slim unless something happens and people just don't seem to care.

So, how do I make this a star? That's what I'm struggling with right now. How to make a service that is valuable but not desired something people want to hear about and care about.

But, the concept Tom explains is very true. I just need to figure out how!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Some People Just Don't Get It

As in, the traditional media.

I'm sure by now you've seen the AT&T billboards with the slogan "Blogging Delivered."

That's right...a BILLBOARD.

Now Geico has ads with a guy saying how great the Internet is, how much he loves blogging, how much he blogs and thinks he blogs too much.

I went to their websites and couldn't find a blog on either of them. It seems that blogs are quickly becoming the "in thing" to talk about instead of do. These corporations don't seem to understand WHY blogs are so popular. They don't understand the importance of a human voice. They just know that, "Hey, everybody is talking about blogs. How can we use that...but I don't want to actually have a blog."

It just doesn't make sense. For both industries even I can think of topics they could blog on. Saving money on insurance...technology emerging in the telecommunications market.

Or, just say, "Blogs are cool." on an advertisement. Yeah, I'm sure that'll work.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Where'd You Go??

"In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible." -Seth Godin

Sometimes the best statements are the simplest.

Everyone knows that you have to stand out to be noticed, but have you really ever sat down and thought about it? I know I haven't nearly as much as I should.

Mine is a business where standing out is difficult. It's a service that our clients don't really want and don't really think much about, but they need it. So how do you stand out and get them to notice?

I'm still working on that one.

The other side of it is, I tend to (as I'm sure some of you do too!) notice things that stand out from a marketer's standpoint. But, do those things really stand out to a non-marketer. We need to think like our customers.

We need to determine what will stand out to THEM and then go beyond their expectations and park happily in their desires.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Stand at Attention!

"Does it stand out in a flash, or do you need an electron microscope to tell them apart?" -Tom Peters.

I know I'm guilty of this. Coming up with a difference in comparing our company to the competition and falling short of a TRUE difference.

Looking at something with "company eyes" usually leads to this. The illusion that something is truly a difference when, in reality, it's something WE care about, not the customer.

It's important to find the points of distinction that matter to the CUSTOMER, not to the company. Often the best, most effective points of distinction are the ones that make people in the company say, "Boy, I think that's a little extreme."

Yes!

That's what it takes to stand out.

Extreme.
Going to the edge.
Standing out.