Bold.  Not your momma’s marketing.  Unique.  Unusual.  Different.

And different is critically important.  In business, it’s even more important than being better.  Start with the problem that everyone claims they’re better.  Add that selling “better” can be very forgettable and now you’re just average.   But different?  That sticks.

Why not have a camel walk into an office and say “hump daaaaaaaay” or have a duck sell your insurance because the company name sounds funny?  Leave the box, then shred it.

Different sounds easy, but it can bring challenges.  It takes guts and effort to stand out from the crowd and differentiate.  You may have to override pressure to follow safer paths or defy historical company norms.  You may be surrounded by skeptics.  Have courage.

In advertising, not to be different is virtually suicidal.
— William Bernbach

Here are two responsive measures for remarkably different marketing.   I’ve labeled them the “shut up”  and “sit up” moments.

Make ’em Shut Up!

Shut up!   That moment when your message and strategy are so distinctly differentiated from the white noise of the competition that your audience stops right in their tracks.  You knock everything else from their focus.  You’re the one thing they can’t ignore and won’t forget.  It’s the “shut up!” moment.

It may be funny, shocking, ironic, edgy, or just fly in the face of industry norms.   Deliver a bold proposition that strikes a nerve and doesn’t just follow the crowd.

Seth Godin says, “Remarkability lies in the edges. The biggest, fastest, slowest, richest, easiest, most difficult. It doesn’t always matter which edge, more that you’re at (or beyond) the edge.

Find your edge and push it.  Once you have their attention…

Make ’em Sit Up!

Sit up and take notice

You got their gaze;  now engagement and action are required.  It’s time to move beyond the surface and captivate the heart.  Deliver a message so compelling they have to share it, hum it, join it, or buy it.

The best messages and strategies will transcend the head and speak in a language that resonates well with your prospect’s heart and values.  It will convey purpose, significance or good.  Can they believe in your cause?  Can they support your effort?  How do you make a difference?  What motivates them to sit up, pay attention and take action?

Connecting strongly with the motivations and values of those you serve can take your company from being a product to being a partner… from a commodity to a community.

Analyze & Gut-Check

When promoting your product or service, look at the data and details for your market.  Pay attention to technology, trends, and what’s working well.  But follow those cranial measures with a good “gut-check.”

Are the concept, messaging, visuals and/or delivery different?  Will this help you stand-out from white-noise and competitors?  Will they create a “shut up” or “sit up” moment for your prospects and customers?  Will they laugh, gasp or maybe even cringe a little?

Test it in a segment of the market and measure responses.  Find out what resonates, and make small adjustments as you perfect your message, strategy and tactics.

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.  — Coco Chanel

If your messaging and value proposition feel a little like milk-toast, it may be time to take a walk on the remarkability edge Seth was talking about.  Try a bold, new approach that will set you apart and capture minds and hearts.



Cindy is the founding President at 17blue Digital Marketing. She's passionate about helping businesses reach their goals and impact their communities.