What makes your business stand out from your competitors? What makes individuals select your products and services over theirs?
What makes them stare at your website, your brochures or you, desiring what you have to offer?
In most cases, this sort of brand-fandom or product-lust simply doesn’t happen.
The ‘inconvenient’ truth is that most businesses, including most probably yours, simply aren’t remarkable.
A remarkable business has the capacity to influence audiences, drive consumers to purchase and attract word of mouth, like Donald Trump to a blow-dryer.
It has the ability to push industry boundaries and inspire industry innovation, while providing exciting and new ways of delivering solutions that keep customers raving.
The word ‘remarkable’, at its linguistic core, refers to something that is worth making ‘remarks’ about. To be remarkable, you must do something to get people talking.
As such, remarkable businesses not only stand out from the ‘crowd’ – they control the crowd. They attract media exposure because the ‘crowd’ has deemed them newsworthy and credible enough to put in front of audiences in the hundreds of thousands.
If your business doesn’t trigger this affect, why?
Until you uncover and unplug the following ‘brand blockages’, you risk getting lost in the swamp of ‘lookalike’ businesses that deliver the exact same ‘regurgitated’ services and products that you do.
So if you’re tired of being overlooked and bypassed by prospective customers, get your plunger out – we’re about to unblock your brand!
BRAND BLOCKAGE #1: I’m judging my business based upon what others in my industry are doing
In school this would have been called cheating. In business, it means cheating yourself, your industry and your customers. People deserve innovation, not cowardice.
So, do some legwork and use your brainpower to create a new angle and present a fresh new perspective on an old problem. Customers consume service providers like they consume the media.
How is your business newsworthy enough to attract broad attention and lure new customers to make a purchase? And then get these customers talking?
BRAND BLOCKAGE #2: I’m holding myself back by being stubborn
Get out of your own way!
You must be willing to let go of old ideas about how to do business. Myopia is a sickness that few businesses can ever recover from. Free your hands of outdated ideas and processes, so that you can pick up new ones, and really run with them.
That’s what your competitors are doing right now (or will be soon). It’s time to join that race.
BRAND BLOCKAGE #3: I censor new ideas and dismiss them too soon
Unfettered creative brainstorming with your team can produce gold and should be encouraged. Every great idea was once a seed in someone’s mind; allow them to grow or you’ll never get to eat the fruit.
As we travel on our business journeys, we collect certain beliefs and ways on how things ‘should’ be done along the way. Understanding how to differentiate a ‘limiting decision’ and a missed opportunity is a difficult task but not an impossible one. They tend to arrive disguised in the same package but could cost you a bundle if you get the two mixed up.
BRAND BLOCKAGE #4: I don’t like attracting attention and am afraid to rock the boat
Quit your whining and start ruffling some feathers! I promise you, it’s the only way you are ever going to find new ways to fly. Imagine delivering outstanding goods and services that stir up your competitors as well as a media storm.
Everyone needs to learn how to become a compelling self-promoter — no-one else is going to toot your horn because no-one else knows that you exist until you tell them. Only once you’re known, can you let the ‘crowd’ take over.
Learn to love attracting attention or you will get lost in the crowd.
BRAND BLOCKAGE #5: I’d rather get to be right than actually get the job done
Get off the ego train already.
What’s so great about being right anyway? It makes everybody else wrong. Who is going to love you for that? It may feel hard to admit a mistake but the paradox is that you will win more trust that way, which is obviously an asset over the longer term.
Most successful businesspeople you can think of have failed spectacularly, say, five times but tried six! Decide to view ‘being wrong’ as the first step to ‘being innovative’.
BRAND BLOCKAGE #6: I’d rather be liked than be effective
You gave birth to your business. So, the good news is that you can and do influence its personality and values. As it grows, give your business every opportunity to make friends but understand that it can never please all of the people all of the time.
Leading the pack can sometimes mean that there will be conflicts and disagreements along the way. The gain in the long run will always outweigh any bumps in the road when you remain consistent and true to yourself.
Those individuals that are consistent become our industry leaders. Are you up to the challenge?
BRAND BLOCKAGE #7: I know I’m way more interesting than you or them or anybody else
If you’re having trouble attracting clients, it’s probably because you’re just not that interesting (and neither is your business). There. I’ve said it.
At the end of the day there is what you know you know (how to ride a bike), what you know you don’t know (how to split an atom in your kitchen) and everything unknown that you don’t even know that you don’t even know! (This last area of knowledge is quite large, by the way.)
So, the moment you decide you ‘know enough’ is the moment you surrender control and find yourself in life’s passenger seat, instead of behind the wheel and being truly remarkable.
So, how do you become remarkable?
Stay curious. Continuously re-educate yourself and your staff… then forget it all and start again. Audiences will return to reframe their own ways of thinking and, if you travel this journey with them, you will not only stand out in the crowd.
You will control the crowd, by simply being remarkable.
Ben Angel’s new book is Sleeping Your Way to the Top in Business. Learn more at his website, www.benangel.com.au.
Image by Orin Zebest