Stand out from the crowd: how to remarkable-ise your business
To succeed in business, having a unique quality is a must. As Seth Godin says: “Mass marketing is being replaced by people who are willing to lead a tribe,” which means there’s no more room for basic products that appeal to everyone. Now there’s only a place for businesses that innovate, bring a new perspective, and target a specific group of people with a story that connects and makes a difference — one that stands out from the crowd. Here, we’ll delve into how your business, old or new, can incorporate certain strategies that allow you to be remarkable.
Knock them off the fence
“Innovation brains, not advertising or distributional muscle is what is needed to succeed in marketing today.” This is from Seth Godin’s Purple Cow, the pinnacle of guides on business remarkability. In the book, Godin makes an interesting point in terms of defining remarkability in businesses. He claims that, in marketing, “the opposite of remarkable is very good”, because very good is mundane. It’s safe, and not memorable. People don’t have much time for the “very good” because most of their attention is on the “love” (or even complaining with the “loathe”). If your goal is to stand out, you need to knock people off the fence. In other words, you want people to love you, even if it means some hate you. Because if they do, it probably means you’re doing something right.
Now, it’s time to consider what you could do to turn a “very good product” into a truly remarkable one. The first step is to know your story and know your customer well. Who do you want to target, and who is it for? Get specific. According to Godin, all you need in order to build a successful business is to go after the smallest viable audience, and then scale from there.
A quick way to get you started on this is to go extreme. An underlying characteristic that people overlook about businesses, particularly new businesses, is that remarkable products are often controversial and outrageous. So ask yourself, what would a really controversial or outrageous version of your product look like? Who would it appeal to? Once you do this, you’ll be well on your way to creating a story and establishing a core audience.
Invest in delivery and packaging
So we’ve looked at an intangible way to improve your business. Now let’s look at an immediate, more transactional method of standing out. Something can be implemented straight away. Often, the transactional benefits of improving a business are overstated, but delivery is a bit of an exception, particularly if you’re an online or direct-to-consumer business.
Incorporating pristine delivery is one of them and is universal for nearly all product-driven businesses. But if it’s universal, how do you stand out? You go one step ahead, of course. Next-day? How about same-day. More and more couriers offer same-day delivery which can make your businesses remarkable. For instance, CitySprint’s same-day delivery service facilitates package collection in as little as 60 minutes. There’s no nonsense. No argument. Same-day delivery will get your business ahead of the game, so start offering it today before it becomes the standard tomorrow.
Packaging is a great example of how the seemingly mundane features of a business can be transformed to create something better. The packaging you choose can make a product remarkable. Stickers, surprise freebies, and even hand-written notes could all transform your customer experience.
As the owner of Cole Buxton, a successful D2C clothing brand states: “I want people to get something and be gassed. When you’re sending something to someone, that has to be an experience. It can’t just be a plastic bag and you open it and there’s a garment in it. That’s dead to me. That’s not an experience. That’s standard. That’s why we spend so much money and time on our packaging.”
If you want to know how to stand out from your competitors, you’re going to need to know what they are doing. Nowadays, it’s easy to create a comprehensive profile on your competitors using the internet. You can look at their website, socials, and even the entire customer service procedure. Working out what your rivals do may be easy, but thinking about what they aren’t doing is where you will get value.
So think about the current leader in your market — if you could change just one thing to make it more remarkable, what would that be? Perhaps it’s to do with the way they target their audience: are they conservative? Alternatively, maybe they’re half-cut when incorporating brands into their online presence. Analyse what kind of posts they share on social media, and even what time and how often. Exposing consistencies in these may create some ideas towards how you can capitalise on your own strategies that you may have neglected.
In terms of standing out, customer service has its part to play. No one likes being greeted with endless automated recordings. Customers want to talk to people, and feel like they are being listened to and cared for.
This is one for when your business has an identity and a well-calibrated audience. At the beginning, the customer is not always right. So make sure you know that. Be comfortable that 99% of people don’t care about you or your brand. But when you do have an established brand with a pool of customers who fit your target, you can start using their feedback to your advantage.
By listening to customer queries and complaints, you are getting priceless insight into your audience. It’s a free blueprint into how you can maintain or improve your success, so use it. Don’t feel like you have to apply every piece of feedback, rather, look for points that keep popping up. This kind of thing is particularly good for more objective, tangible features of a business. For example, if a large pool of people are saying the same thing like, “It’s sometimes hard to navigate websites”, then you may want to prioritise your UX. By fixing these things, new customers (who are likely to be similar to your current customers) will have a better experience.