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Think Different And Your Marketing Will Improve

Hamilton Wallace
Nov 29, 2007
"Think Different"

Remember that ad campaign from Apple? I believe it was the first after Jobs came back.

At the risk of seeming about three years behind Steve Jobs, which, come to think about it, isn't a terrible thing, thinking differently about what you do can have profound results.

Remember that amusement park, Disneyland? I believe it was Walt Disney's first shot at doing anything like that, which almost bankrupted the company getting it open.

Okay, at the risk of seeming about fifty years behind Walt Disney, which, may not be such a bad thing either, thinking differently about what you do can have profound results.

Thinking differently, simply, is what it is.

Thinking differently about how to sell more cars a long time ago caused a young Lee Iacocca to dream up installment payments (that's right, before then, if you wanted a car, you wrote the whole check).

Banks in grocery stores. Songs for dollar. Pizza delivered in 30 minutes.

Now, what about you? How can you think different about what you sell? Here are three ways you can start thinking different-

Expand the definition of what you do. Examples are all around us. Contractors that used to build, now design, finance, build and become your landlord. UPS now inventories and ships parts (they're many companies' warehouse and shipping function). They also repair many of the laptops that break.

What else can you do that is "next to" the value you provide? If you sell "cog C" in the "machine," how can you also sell cogs B and D?

Go for logarithmic change. Do it for a tenth the cost, or tens times as fast. This is not for the faint of heart, but it is a wonderful exercise. Is a custom website for $15,000 really that much different than a website template for $150? For an amazing number of companies the answer is "no." Why can't you design a building in three days instead of three months? Well, maybe you can't. But if in trying you go from three months to one, that's pretty good, yes? That's a nice differential advantage, yes?

Re-imagine from the ground up. If you didn't have all the "baggage" you have now, all the "how we do it," how would you do it? Would you specialize in just one product, or offer 10 times more than you do now? Would you serve just one type of customer? Well, the only thing stopping you is you. Head in that direction. You may not end up there, but the difference you create will make a difference.

Quick, what is your primary method for attracting new customers? Okay, how would you attract new customers if you couldn't use that method? And now think differently here. Don't just default to one of the other methods you use. How would you attract new customers in a way you don't use now?

Go ahead, starting thinking differently. It's easier than you think. Really. All you have to do is, well, think different.
About the Author
Hamilton Wallace is a marketing consultant who specializes in helping small businesses increase sales through improved strategy and implementation. http://www.SmallBusinessMarketingConsultant.com
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