August 2017

Delight Your Customers: Be a Sock-Knocker-Offer

By | 2017-08-19T19:45:52+00:00 19 August 2017|Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , , |

Have you ever wished someone… Or perhaps someone has offered you the words of encouragement… “Knock their socks off!”

It means to wow or amaze someone. To go beyond what is expected.

The saying originates from boxing – when you bop your opponent so hard, you nearly knock them out of their socks.

No Socks
Unfortunately – and far too often – experiences are delivered short of expectations.

  • The meal was tasty, but the service was slow.
  • The camera takes great pictures, but the battery doesn’t last very long.
  • I’m having trouble with my credit card – luckily they have a 24-hour service number. When I called it, the recording said it would be a 32-minute wait.

I’m sure you have many similar examples.

As a customer – we love to have our socks knocked off. And, the good news as a marketer, business owner, or customer experience manager is that customers rarely expect it.

However, fixing the restaurant service, creating a battery power system that works, or properly staffing customer hotlines is NOT knocking someone’s socks off. Those actions are simply doing your job… Delivering what you’re supposed to deliver.
Sock-knocking-offing goes beyond.

To knock their socks off, you provide more than the required “AND” – you go beyond with two or three ANDs.

  • The food was great, AND the service was very friendly, AND they knew it was our anniversary AND treated us to free wine and a dessert.
  • With this camera, it is easy to take great pictures, AND the battery lasts forever, AND it came with a cleaning kit and case.
  • The credit card company has a hotline, AND it is open 24-hours, AND you immediately reach a human.
    Here… try to complete the below sentence, and see for yourself.

“We provide ________________ AND ________________, the full experience for our customers. We don’t stop there, however… AND we ________________. That’s how we knock their socks off.”

Is your company being a sock-knocker-offer? Are you doing both part one AND part two – the necessary requirements? Do you go beyond with more than one AND?

May 2015

It Pays To Be Different

By | 2017-08-19T17:55:38+00:00 8 May 2015|Categories: Sand for Your Inbox, SandBlog|Tags: , , , |

Differentiation*Bleck*

Differentiation has become one of those marketing buzz words we hear too often. So frequently, the term seems to have lost its meaning. Nevertheless, it is a fundamental concept.

I prefer the term “remarkability.” Doing the things that cause people to make remarks about you – literally being remarkable.

There’s a great quote in the book Do Purpose: Why Brands With A Purpose Do Better And Matter More. Author, David Hieatt wrote…

Be Remarkable.
(People Don’t Remember Average)

Let’s take a look at why being remarkable is so important and why it pays to be different.

You: Serving Customer Needs

So here you are… offering your product. Doing what you do well and providing customers what they want. Sales are high. Everyone is happy. You own the market for your product or service.

We’ll give that a happy check-mark.

It Pays To Be Different: Serving Customer Needs

You & Competition: Serving Different Customer Needs

Next, we have a situation where you provide customers Product A, and your competition is providing Product B. For example, you offer Italian food, your competition offers French cuisine. Sure, you’re both in the restaurant business, but catering to different taste preferences.

So, you both do well.
It Pays To Be Different: You & Competition Serving Different Customer Needs

What is interesting about this situation is that we have been experiencing a trend where – instead of being happy with specialization – brands are expanding offerings to try to take business away from the competition.

Olive Garden hops on the burger trend with an Italiano Burger. Dairy Queen serves a quesadilla. Subway offers “Flatizza” pizza. And, Taco Bell – not wanting to miss out on the morning daypart – offers breakfast including a waffle sausage taco.

It Pays To Be Different: Fast Food Bandwagon

I understand the concept of increasing sales by expanding offerings to appeal to a broader audience. But, if customers aren’t going to come to you for your specialty, they probably won’t be attracted by something that isn’t your core competency.

Copying your competition is the opposite of trying to be different and remarkable. These are bandwagon offerings – making you fit in, be more similar.

Few of us are running a business where we are the only provider of a particular product or service. We are offering things that are popular, and we’ve got competition.

(And, if you are the first to the market – and there is a demand – competition is coming.)

You & Competition: Same Product / Same Customers

Now we’re in a situation where the customer has a choice in getting what they want from more than one provider who does it well.

Customers have a choice between you and your competition. The result will be a reduction of your sales.

Hmmm? What to do? This requires a question mark in our diagram.

It Pays To Be Different: You & Competition: Same Product / Same Customer

So, now what?

The best way to attract customers and prevent them from going to your competition is by offering, being, or doing something different… To be remarkable and provide value in a way that your competitor isn’t and can’t.

Be The –EST, not the –ER

Let’s say you’re in the restaurant business. We recommend you find a way to be the –EST in what you do, not the –ER. Here’s an example.

Your competition…

  • Is fast.
  • They’ve got a menu that’s tasty.
  • They’ve got service that’s friendly.

You could make your business “-ER” by being…

  • faster, tastier and friendlier than your competition.

However, if you’re going to make the effort, instead of simply trying to complete what they do, you should beat what they do.

If you’re going to stand out and be remarkable, make yourself the…

  • fastest, tastiest and friendliest.

Being the –EST gets you noticed and differentiates you, from your competition, in the mind of your customer.

We’ll put a star in that spot!

It Pays To Be Different: High Differentiation

By being different, by being remarkable, you can differentiate yourself from the competition. You are no longer offering the same thing, and customers will be able to notice the difference.

So, being different truly does pay!

Oh, by the way… this article was first posted as an article in our free Sand For Your Inbox newsletter. Maybe you want to subscribe and get articles like this sent directly to your inbox?

March 2013

Beef Up Your Brand To Drive Sales

By | 2013-03-19T09:07:46+00:00 21 March 2013|Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , |

"How do we increase traffic and drive sales?"

A client of ours is a burger joint with locations across the US. They make outrageously delicious burgers. Not just tasty beef burgers, but also an amazing turkey burger and one of the best veggie burgers you'll ever have.

Like you, they're asking that same question… how to drive sales.

One of the suggested ideas was to “start offering salads.”

Side Salad

Oh, wait… before I go on… unless you're a business that already serves salads this article will make perfect sense to you. If you *do* offer salads, replace the word "salad" in this article with… say… "video games." You'll get the same point.

Okay, back to this burger joint and adding salads. It makes sense. They will appeal to, and attract: women diners, those who are watching their carbs, or want a lighter meal.

Here 's the catch…

Salads don't fit the concept or brand of being a "burger joint." This place makes thick, juicy, takes-a-lot-of-napkins-to-eat kind of burgers.

But, salads will bring in a customer they're missing. How frustrating for the manager to know, every person that looks at the menu, walks away, and ends up at the competition is money walking out the door. And, especially in this economy, something is better than nothing.

I know your business is faced with these same types of decisions.

It seems logical to offer the item(s) people are walking away for, right? It also seems logical that, if you provide a wider range of offerings, you'll be able to attract more people.

But, by trying to be something for everyone, you end up not being anything for anyone.

And, to answer the question above… in any economy, doing the wrong something is worse than doing nothing.

People need to know why to choose you. That's what a brand – *your* brand – does. It represents what makes you special. By definition, what makes you better, greater, and different from others. Your brand is your reputation.

If you lose what makes you special and mess up your reputation, you'll end up eliminating the reason people seek you out and come to your business.

Still not convinced?

Alright, let's say you do all the things – create recipes, update the menu, order food and supplies – add salads.

Now, a group of co-workers feels like salad for lunch… Among the choices and chains in the U.S. alone, include: Chop't, Tossed, Sweetgreen, Souper Salad, SaladWorks, Salad Creations, and others. And, don't forget about the established sandwich and fast casual restaurants that each offer some sort of salad.

Is this group going to choose the burger place with a token salad? Or a salad specialists? Unless you go deep with salads, you won't be known as a salad place – you'll remain the burger place that has a salad. And, if you go deep with salads you won't be known for your burgers.

You end up simply watering down the experience. You become nothing special.

The right approach is to go to the original question: "How do we increase traffic and sales?" And, instead of trying to find ways to appeal to those you don't like you – go heavy after those who already love you.

Give them reasons to come back. Give them reasons to tell and bring their friends. Find more of that type person.

Instead of trying to fake who you are not, be the best at who you are! Don't water down what you offer, beef it up.

This post was originally sent to Sand for Your Inbox members… an elite group of smart marketers who get special articles and tools for FREE each month. C’mon… Join Today! You’ll dig sand in your inbox too!

December 2012

Innovation Is A Phenomenon, Not A Strategy

By | 2017-08-21T16:16:17+00:00 12 December 2012|Categories: create, Innovation, Sand for Your Inbox, SandBlog|Tags: , , , , , |

Innovation isn’t something you do; it is something that happens – a result. To be “innovative”, you have to focus on the things that create that result, not the result itself.

We can’t directly control what is considered innovative no more than a director can guarantee their movie will be Oscar Award-winning or an ad agency can get their video to go viral. But, we can do the things that typically lead to winning an Oscar or going viral. A great script, a great cast, great directing, great cinematography, an amazing score, great effects, clever editing, remarkability, etc.

So is it with innovation. If we stop focusing on the result, we can focus on the things that go into “being” innovative and make sure we get them right.

So, what are these things? They are what I call the practical steps to innovation. A flow and process that will make sure you’re doing the things that lead to developing innovations.

Monitor → Notice → Define → Generate → Decide →
Plan → Champion → Implement → Monitor (again)
This process is a chain. An assembly line, where the output of one process is sent to the next… The reason many companies fail at being innovative is because they’re either skipping a step or doing a poor job one of the process stages. And we know any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

The Steps

Monitor

Keeping an eye on your business horizon. Continually monitor your company, the competition, your industry, and related industries. Consumer insights, trend reports, industry overseas. All this is your raw data.

Notice Situation

You don’t monitor only for the sake of monitoring. Try to spot changes, shifts, indicators, and emerging trends. News of relevant upcoming technology or report of a change in consumer preferences should get you excited and alert. This is making meaning of all the data.

Define Objectives

When you notice a change, problem or opportunity, you should put it in perspective of what it means to you.

Generate Ideas

Using the objectives defined above, pick existing solutions or generate new ideas to meet the goals.

Decide On Solution

Hopefully, you’ve got at least three options generated above. Choose which best satisfies the objective.

Craft Your Plan

Write down the milestones, actions, and tasks as well as the leads and budgets needed to successfully carry out the solution.

Be the Champion

“Ideas are only as fragile the backbone behind them.” You’ve got to create a culture where different and novel isn’t considered scary or too risky. (Else your big ideas get whittled down to wimpy improvements). You’ve got to guide these innovative ideas through to funding, support, and implementation.

Implement

I know it sounds obvious… but this is doing it. And, doing it properly. Implementing is also about sticking with a project or program and seeing it through. Don’t let the lack of patience be misinterpreted as lack of success. Too often, we don’t see an overnight result and declare it a failure.

Monitor (again)

Now that you’ve got a program going, you need to add it to the things you’re tracking. Sometimes you’ll notice you need to course correct. That’s great – monitoring will allow you to make those minor adjustments versus sitting back and finding out that you’re not successful, and it’s too late to do anything about it.

To Put Too Fine A Point On It

These ideas need to go beyond creating an improvement – that is simply making something better. They need to be different. They also need to be more than invention – simply creating something. Innovation is better and novel. Innovation is remarkable – literally worth being remarked about.

By following each step you: see changes as they come proactively move to action; build and implement a plan around an idea that is different, better, novel and remarkable.

While declaring something an innovation is ultimately up to the audience, in using this flow, you will have performed all the right steps to generate the right conditions to create an innovation.

January 2011

A Day To Remark About

By | 2011-01-27T15:52:33+00:00 24 January 2011|Categories: SandBlog, solve|Tags: , , , |

For those of you who were able to make it to today’s What’s Next DC Conference… Thank you for coming! I’m glad I was able to meet some of you, and wished I had the chance to meet more of you.

Please contact me if you’re interested in talking more about remarkability and standing out among your competition. (of course this applies to those who did *not* attend today’s conference, too!)

Whether you could make it today or not, I’m posting my presentation with narration so you can get a re-cap of what I said, from the comfort of your own computer! Or hear it for the first time!

Oh, here’s the link to the live Twitter feed we posted. If you click on it, it will play the day back for you! Great comments! Enjoy…

What’s Next DC Live Twitter Feed Page (#whatsnextdc)

In the mean time, enjoy this series of articles I’ve written featuring ‘next’ practices on being remarkable from some great authors.

April 2010

Be Remarkable Via Pricing Strategy

By | 2017-03-01T11:56:12+00:00 20 April 2010|Categories: create, grow, SandBlog|Tags: , , , , |

Being the first, the best, or the only one doing something (and in a way meaningful and relevant to your customers) is a strategy your company can use to stand out from your competition.

Something that is relevant to all your customers is how they compensate you for your products or services. Adding a spin to the way they pay may be a way to help your business be remarkable.


Most of us heard about the restaurant* that offered “‘pay-as-you-wish” pricing? There are no prices, and the waiter doesn’t bring you a bill. At the end of the meal, you simply leave what you feel the meal was worth. “Pay as you wish”‘ as an idea wasn’t new, but it was in a restaurant atmosphere.

Many “new” ideas are simply existing ideas combined in non-traditional ways. Old ideas remixed to form new ones.

*The pay-as-you-wish restaurant concept may not be that successful, seems I should have learned and remembered the name of the restaurant that started it. Yet, being remarkable doesn’t mean you have to be world famous. You only need to be memorable enough to be the stand-out choice from among your potential customers’ choices.

Methods of Payment to Explore

Below is a list of common (and not-so-common) payment methods. Apply these to your business, and create a new approach that allows you stand apart from your competition.

Some of these may have more technical names than what I’ve dubbed them. Please correct me in the comments section below.

Per Hour/Day (Increments)

Your company pays you every two weeks. Military personnel receive monthly payments. The plumber charges by the hour.

Deposits

The management company charges you a month’s rent upfront when you sign your apartment lease. They use this money to pay for any damage you might have caused to the apartment during your stay. It also prevents tenants from skipping town and breaking

Fixed Amount (Excess Pays More)

I have an allowance of 300 instant messages per month on my phone. After 300, I pay on a per-IM basis.

When you lease a car, the contract limits the total number of miles you can put on the car. The dealer wants to make sure the car can be leased again after you return it. If you exceed the allocated mileage, you pay a premium for that extra use.

Soft Pricing (Negotiable)

Though one could argue that all pricing is negotiable, I’m talking about the type pricing you especially find in international markets and swap meets.

If you pay the posted price for that leather jacket in Florence or for that Mickey Mouse gum ball machine at the old Drive-In Swap Meet, you’re a sucker. The process includes their making you a stupidly high offer, and you countering with an equally low offer, and the final price somewhere in between.

Barter/Trade

Instead of money in exchange for services or goods, you pay with services or goods. The local printer will print your flyers for free if you help her with her marketing plan.

Bandwagon/Economy of Scale

The more you buy, the lower the price. You can order 1,000 business cards at a cheaper per unit price than for 500. There is a new product/invention site where the price of newly invented products reduces as the total quantity is ordered.

Custom vs. Off the Shelf

It comes in white, black, or silver. That’s it. You can pay more to have a red one if you want. Heck, you can have it any color you want if you’re willing to pay for it.

With D.I.Y. (do it yourself) being back in style, you can have someone hand-craft a messenger bag to hold your laptop. Compared to a mass-produced store bought item, the bag could:

  • be cheaper because it is made by a local crafts person who charges for materials and a bit of labor. (They make these because they enjoy it; they made them with love).
  • cost you an arm and a leg because it is one of a kind and hand-crafted from special leather by artisans from exotic locations.

Generic vs. Branded Pricing

An item is priced more cheaply because it is a generic brand, not a name brand. Store or generic brands are less generic as they used to be. (I think stores have learned they can drive incremental sales and charge more than generic and still less than name brands by offering “store brands.”)

Back to the car example: Top tier luxury cars are expensive and generally constructed with the same priced, quality materials, yet prices can differ by tens of thousands of dollars because you pay for the logo, the brand.

Privilege Fee (Because We Can/Opportunistic)

I’m not a fan of this one, but it is common. For example, I have a cat, and not only is the management company for my apartment charging an initial pet deposit, but also monthly pet rent. The company charges us $25 more a month to keep a cat in the apartment. Why? Because they can.

Points/Credit Systems (Custom Currency)

I love companies who give employees benefits as a flexible point package. An employee has 50 benefit credits to spend. They can distribute them among medical, dental, vision, sick days, or vacation days as they choose to support their needs.

You don’t wear glasses? Why pay vision coverage you won’t use? Use those points toward more dental coverage for your braces. Reward the healthy by allowing them to put unused sick days toward vacation days.

Layaway

The store holds the product for you and removes it from the sales floor so no one else can buy it. You pay the store in installments, and when you’ve paid the total balance, you can take possession of the item.

One Time Set-Up Fees

My printer will make a custom die-cut for my funky shaped brochure. That first order will be expensive. Thereafter, any time I need more brochures printed, they will be less expensive.

In Bulk/Per Unit (Parts)

In Bulk: Warehouse membership stores (Sam’s Club, Cosco, etc.) is where you can save a bundle on per-unit pricing. That assumes you need a two-gallon of mayonnaise or a year’s worth of razor blades. It’s cheaper to buy bulk foods (out of those plastic bins) than to pay for the pre-packaged, advertising items.

Per Unit: While traveling, I forgot my iPhone charging cord at home. When I went to the local Apple retailer, they had a jar of cords and of ear phones at the counter. How smart is that? I didn’t need to buy a whole kit … just the separate part. (They offered them in bulk, come to think of it).

One Part Free/One Part Fee

Give the razor blade holder away for free, charge for blades. Give me the Kindle e-book reader for free, charge me for the books. Charge me less for my latte when I bring my own re-usable cup. It is good for the environment and reduces the cafe’s cost of goods.

Cut / Percentage/Commission / Tips / Incentive

Your sales person makes commission based on how many qualified leads they bring in. Restaurant staff in North America is awarded tips for itsr service. The electronics store is offering a pizza party to the store that sells the most TVs this month.

Free Trial/Free Trial With Limits or Catch

Free trial is a great way to reduce risk for the customer. Test driving a car or trying on those earrings are methods that allow us to try before we buy. A secret of those selling jewelry is that they know if you “try it on” (sample/trial) you start to imagine that object in your life. Trying it on increases the chance of purchase. Once they get you behind the wheel of that car, you see it as yours.

I’m not a fan of the 30-day free trial that automatically activates if you don’t cancel. It is presented as a no-risk, “we are doing this so you have the convenience of keeping it if you like it.” More often than not, the vendor counts on you to forget to cancel and become a customer by default.

Automatic Renewal

You opt into automatically opt having a product/service renewed at the end of the payment cycle. The magazine will automatically charge your credit card, and you won’t “miss an issue.”

Though pitched as a convenience for the customer, I’m convinced this is more about reducing the risk of customers dropping out if faced with the decision of re-entering their credit card to make yet another purchase.

Scarcity, Access Based/Seasonality

Scalpers make a killing selling last-minute tickets to desperate concert-goer-wannabes.

We used to pay more for fruit and vegetables that were out of season. To get fresh strawberries in the winter used to be a miracle.

However, now that we’ve made the world smaller with fast transportation modes, you can have nearly any food at nearly any time of the year. And hotels also have seasons; it is cheaper to stay in the hotels during off-season/non-tourist season.

Or Best Offer (OBO)

A classic pricing method for yard and tag sales. That TV is going for 50-bucks … or best offer. OBO can turn into an auction situation.

Per Project/Value-Based/Scope-Based

As a consultant, I haven’t charged a per-hour rate. I charge per project. I work with the client’s specific needs to determine the right price for the scope of the specific project.

I would charge more to help them develop plans for a $20 million than a $20 thousand project. Clients pay based on the value of the project.

Subscription (Magazines)

A yearly fee gives you access to a fixed number of installments. Magazines. Netflix. Jelly-Of-The-Month Club.

I pay an annual fee to Amazon to be a “Prime” member, which allows me free shipping. This makes buying from Amazon less costly than chain bookstores.

Per Person (Admission)

We buy tickets to the movies, sports events and conferences this way.

Auction (Highest Bidder)

Traditional auctions and eBay demonstrate this model. Low demand, your price is low. High demand, and those who really want it, have to pay for that right.

Per Idea (Quantity)

Brainstorming remarkable ideas can be like looking for a pearl in oysters. The more oysters you shuck, the more you increase your chances of finding a pearl. Why not charge clients for the total number of quality ideas generated? More ideas equal more pearls.

Pay When Service Is Not Needed (Insurance)

We pay a monthly premium to protect ourselves from car damage, from something being stolen, from getting sick. While it seems costly, it pays for itself when used.

Based on Return (ROI)

Charge your clients based on the results they gain from your products and services. If the ad agency’s radio ads helped me generate x amount of business, they get x% in payment. This is an incentive for them to push for your success.

All You Can Eat (All You Can Consume)

$19.95 all you can eat buffet. My mobile phone provides me with unlimited data as part of my plan.

By Weight

We buy produce, meat, and fish this way at the grocery store.

The Price Is Right

When someone is willing to sell something if the right price is named. Your neighbor (who doesn’t really want to move) puts their $1 million house on the market for $1.2 million. If someone is willing to pay that, they’ll sell!

Different Combinations / New Ideas

  • Could a bookstore charge by weight? Or offer a book of the month club. One price, and for twelve months I take any book I want.
  • What if the plumber charged by the job instead of by the hour? By value? Stopping a pipe from flooding your house is worth more than unclogging a drain.
  • A PR firm who charges when there wasn’t a crisis? You pay them only if things were going well. This is incentive for them to do things regularly to keep your business in good shape.
  • What if Weight Watchers charges me only when I’m losing weight. If I’m gaining, something’s not working.
  • What about combining subscription with all you can eat? (We do this for a gym membership; one price gets you free access). As a member, I pay a once-a-year membership to a restaurant chain. In return, I receive a card that allows me unlimited, free items.
    • At Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill And Bar, the program would allow unlimited meals. (Drinks cost extra.)
    • At Starbucks Coffee, I get unlimited drinks, of any size, anytime I want. (Food items costs extra.)
    • Maybe the movie theater can charge a one time fee for access to a year’s worth of movies. Who goes alone? Who doesn’t buy popcorn and treats at the refreshment stand?
  • Back to the buffet. What about charging by weight? Weigh me when I enter the restaurant, and charge me by how heavy I am when I leave? (I’m sure if someone tried this, during end-of-the-day clean up, staff would find rocks and weights hidden in the restaurant from people sandbagging their initial weight.)

Closing Challenge

Is there a way for your company, with a change in pricing strategy, to be the first, the best, or the only? What other clever payment schemes have you encountered?

This article was originally published on the Marketing Profs DailyFix Blog.

February 2010

Debunking Word Of Mouth, (and Social Media) Bunk

By | 2017-03-01T11:56:17+00:00 1 February 2010|Categories: grow, SandBlog|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

John Moore (from Brand Autopsy) and I were invited to talk with Jay Ehret of The Marketing Spot. As part of his work to help small businesses, Jay asked John and I questions surrounding all the hubbub regarding Word of Mouth (WOM) and Social Media.

The%20Marketing%20Spot

You’ll find some helpful stuff. John is the WOM expert who speaks and writes for the official Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

Oh, and I toss a few ideas in there as well…

Here’s the podcast audio link:

Power To the Small Business #48
“Debunking Word-of-Mouth Bunk”

Getting “word of mouth” simply means your brand, company, products/services are worth talking about… that you’re worth remarking about… that you’re literally remarkable.

And, creating word of mouth means doing things that make you remarkable, make you different than the competition.

You should also check out the series of articles I wrote on how to be different. The lessons from these great writers will help you be remarkable and create word of mouth.

Thank you Jay for asking for my thoughts!

Finally, in preparation for the interview I prepared notes. I’ll share those thoughts this week in a series of articles. I welcome you to stop by tomorrow.

January 2010

Out Of The Box (Literally) Mini Cooper Ads

By | 2017-03-01T11:56:18+00:00 8 January 2010|Categories: grow, SandBlog|Tags: , , , |

I invite you to visit the Marketing Profs Daily Fix blog today, where I posted an article about a brilliant Amsterdam-based ad campaign for Mini Cooper cars. The ad was created locally by UbachsWisbrun/JWT.

Mini Cooper Christmas Box

In the article, I also share what I think are the ingredients for the best ads. That they are:

  • Attention Getting
  • Have a Clear, Memorable Message
  • Brand Appropriate
  • Locally/Audience Relevant, and
  • Remarkable

These ads do all of that! In a way, the old saying is true: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”

Have a great weekend. Enjoy.

September 2009

Better Power Strip Design – Powerbridge

By | 2009-09-11T16:29:17+00:00 11 September 2009|Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , , , |

Look under your desk at the clutter of power cords… from your CPU, monitor, speakers, perhaps a printer… I’ll bet, just like under my desk, it is a mess. A tangle of cords.

But that’s just how it is, right?

Well, designer Hyukjae Chang took a fresh look at the power strip and re-invented it in a way that it not only doesn’t have to be hidden, but can be featured.

In addition to inverting the design to hide the plugs and guide the cords; each outlet has a light indicating the energy use of the device plugged into it.

Attractive and smart.

And Your Business?

What aspects of your products, services, or retail space is typically an eyesore? Are there ways you can turn it inside out to make it an asset instead of a liability?

Source: Yanko Design, “Show Off The Strip

August 2009

Be THE, not A

By | 2017-03-01T11:56:22+00:00 27 August 2009|Categories: grow, SandBlog|Tags: , |

So you are…

  • …A marketer.
  • …A sales person.
  • …A blogger.
  • …A [_ _ _ _ _ _ _].

But is that settling?

Why be A, when you could be…

  • …THE marketer?
  • …THE sales person?
  • …THE blogger?
  • …THE [_ _ _ _ _ _ _]?

There is a BBQ rib chain in the U.S. that bills themselves as “A Place for Ribs.”* If you wanted to take your family out for a great rib dinner, why would you choose to go to A place? A place is just one of many… Why not head to THE place for ribs?

“A” is random. “A” is generic. “A” is one of many. “A” is adequate.

“THE” is singular. “THE” is specific. “THE” is the only. “THE” is expert.

  • Do you want A (one of any) babysitter to watch your children, or THE (best) babysitter?
  • When your hard drive crashes, do you call seek A computer tech person, or THE computer guru?!
  • Do you want your hair cut/styled by A (random) stylist? Or THE (master) stylist?
  • Does your boss put A marketer on the big holiday promotion? No it goes to THE marketer.

You get THE point!

Being THE is about being remarkable. By being THE, you are standing out tall above the crowd.

So, I’ll ask again… are you A or THE?


More on Remarkability

So you want to be THE?

Here is a collection of blog posts from the Idea Sandbox blog featuring authors and their take on how to be remarkable. Enjoy!

*(I could have sworn they were once “THE” place for ribs, but I can’t find any proof of that online.)