November 2009

Have you seen that YouTube video? How many times have you heard that lately? I’m guessing most of those videos had little to no business application. But, have you seen the Youtube video from Sweden where a team decided to take on a project of motivating people to take the stairs instead of using the adjacent escalator? Think about it…using the escalator is easy, efficient and is less work. Why would someone use the stairs these days. Which is why this team decided to see what they could do to to entice people away from the easy choice (the escalator) and have people use the stairs.

To see what happens, watch the video below.

Is there a competitor that your customers are going to because it’s easier or cheaper? Maybe your competitor is the easy choice for people but your product is better in the long run (isn’t exercise on the stairs better in the long run, then a short term convenience of an escalator?). What can you do to make people aware of your products or services? Can you make the process interesting, fun, or memorable? Yes, this will take some thought, but isn’t it worth it? Imagine getting more customers just because you provide something different (think of what they did to the stairs in the video).

In an interview Siskel & Ebert said that since they watched about 5-10 movies per week, they could always tell when a good movie came around. But, in order for that to happen, it had to really stand out. All the bad and average movies mushed together in an unmemorable glump (is that a word?). But, when a really good movie came out, it was different than all the average movies. Seth Godin, calls this a Purple Cow. Wouldn’t you tell everyone you know if you saw a purple cow? It stands out and is very different from all the other cows you’ve ever seen. Is your business, product or service a purple cow? Aren’t you impressed when a company shows some personality, or they make things fun and interesting instead of being mushed together in an unmemorable glump. Which is your company, product or service?

So what are you doing that’s superior to the status quo? What stands out? What are you doing to make your product or service fun, interesting or a “purple cow”? Perhaps spicing up your website that separates it from your competitors will make you stand out. Would new creative business cards that look different and stand out from everyone else? Or maybe creating a video that isn’t a typical boring sleeper, but something people will be sharing with everyone on YouTube? I bet we know a company that can help you out!