Are you remarkable or invisible?

When he wrote his book “Purple Cow” several years ago, marketing Goliath Seth Godin could see the writing on the wall. His premise was that for businesses to survive in an uber-competitive world, they have a clear choice – be remarkable or become invisible.

What’s changed since then? Competition and the number of customers with higher expectations and more choices are fiercer than ever before. The imperative for businesses to differentiate themselves remains the same.

It’s a harsh reality that when business gets tougher, ‘me too’ businesses come under increasing pressure to step up and stand out – or face extinction.

When you’ve got no clear point of difference and no compelling reasons for customers to choose you over the competition, you’re left to compete on price alone. And that’s never a good thing.

It’s interesting that in today’s wired world bursting at the seams with self-anointed gurus prescribing instant fixes, authenticity has become a rare commodity. People are craving connection with businesses that are real and can be trusted. Yes price matters, but presenting a human face and making a genuine effort to connect and be relevant to customers’ needs matter more.

What does that mean for your business? It should be a critical starting point in your strategy to transform a me-too business into a remarkable one.

Remarkable is…

  • the restaurant that takes my favourite entrée off the menu, but still offers to make it for me when I ask.
  • the printer who turns my job around overnight to meet an impossible deadline (and no rush rates).
  • the online store that offers to send me a replacement pair of sports shoes when I tell them about the bad experience I had with the first pair.
  • the removalists who not only move my furniture in to all the right rooms, but offer to assemble the bed and connect the washing machine and refrigerator too.
  • the tradesman who actually returns my call, turns up when promised and cleans up after himself (ok it’s what they’re supposed to do, but these days it’s still remarkable)

Invisible is…

  • the hairdresser who still had to ask my name even after the 5th time I’d been there.
  • the shop assistant who chats with friends about her weekend, while customers bank up at the counter.
  • the telco who transfers my call 6 times and still doesn’t solve my problem.
  • the tradesman who promises to turn up and I’m still waiting.
  • the website that invites me to fill in an enquiry form, but never gets back to me when I do.

It’s often the simplest things that can mean the difference between more business and no business.

Not every business can create the kinds of products that generate a worldwide buzz or claim enough attention to have them sneezed around the web in a virus of epic proportions. But any business can create relationships worth talking about and experiences worth remembering.

So forget the grand gestures – start small, stay focused and consistent, and keep it real.

Remarkable means being prepared to swim against the current instead of going with the flow.

Remarkable means not settling for less, building personality into your brand, and never having to tell others how remarkable you are – because they’ll do it for you.

Remarkable is worth talking about.  Invisible is easy to forget.  Which one are you?