Normal is a Commodity

When it comes to marketing your business you must find ways to stand out. Most small businesses don’t have the ad budget to throw at getting attention and standing out by simply purchasing loads of ad space so they must maximize the awareness exposure they do receive.

Too many business owners think that their marketing should mirror the accepted norms, tone, tactics and execution of others in their industry. Sticking out for being different is a scary thing. (Must come from those years in high school when fitting in was all we wanted in life.)

The problem with fitting in when it comes to your business is that it doesn’t give the potential client any way to discover what it is that you offer that is unique and valuable – being normal makes your business a commodity in the eyes of the prospect and commodities are traded based on price alone.

How about being a little weird? I’m in Austin, TX today and am reminded of the city’s brilliant unofficial marketing slogan – “keep Austin weird.” The slogan was dreamed up by a couple of local merchants trying to capture the notion that the local flare in Austin was better than the corporate chain mentality. The slogan has framed the entire mentality of Austin and given it a core message for the world.

Being a little weird is what every small business marketer must do. Now, by weird I don’t mean doing something crazy to get attention, I mean straying from what everyone else in your industry does and then making that your core marketing message.

This can come in the form of the way you sell your services, what you call your service, the way you deliver and package your products, the way you position what you do for a living, colors, shapes and industry terms, even the narrow niche you focus on. Being a little weird creates buzz and the right kind of buzz can do more for your business than all the advertising you can afford.

Being a little weird may take some guts because, frankly, others in your industry won’t like it and may tell you so, but stay the course and focus on your market, not your peers, and look for ways to be a little weird. Your prospects and, eventually, your clients will thank you for it.


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