December 2006

How to Be Different: Create “Wow!”

2017-03-01T11:57:27-04:00 Categories: create, grow, SandBlog, solve, think|Tags: , , , , |

How do you break your company or product away from the pack of sameness?

Welcome to the first in a series of guides highlighting techniques marketing experts suggest to be different and build awareness… Here are some thoughts by Tom Peters…


Tom Peters



What is it?

Wow is “stepping out (individuals at all levels in a firm and independent contractors) and standing out (corporations and organizations) from the growing crowd of look-alikes. Being average has never had much appeal. Better to fail with flair in pursuit of something neat…”

How is is done?

Tom offers 210 stories – some short, some long – which are examples of people and companies doing WOW things… While Tom doesn’t offer step-by-step instructions on creating a WOW idea, you will be inspired by his examples. Examples are arranged into these chapters:

  • Starters
  • Getting Things Done
  • Milk, Cookies and Managing People
  • Pens, Toilets, and Businesses That Do It Differently
  • Just Say No to Commodities (And Yes to Free Spirits)
  • Breaking the Mold
  • The Wacky World (or [mostly] what have you done about Asia today?)
  • Searching for the Diversity Advantage
  • Tomorrow’s Strange Enterprises
  • Entrepreneurs’ Dreams
  • Lists!
  • Attaining Perpetual Adolescence
  • Parting Shots

Check Out



Articles by Tom Peters in Fast Company Magazine
(Don’t let the dates of 1999 dissuade you – this writing is just as relevant today as it was then)

Next post, Doug Hall and Dramatic Difference

October 2006

Brains on Fire: On Being Remarkable

2017-03-01T11:57:33-04:00 Categories: create, grow, SandBlog, solve, think|Tags: , , , |

A friend of mine, Virginia Miracle (great name, huh?) is the Director of Word of Mouth (great title, huh?) at Brains on Fire – a naming and identity company based in Greenville, SC. They “help companies build and sustain excitement about who they are and why they are here.

The image below from their site – it’s about Virginia… Each team member (including Mud the dog) at the company has a little figure which represents them… click on it and it displays a short biography.


Additionally, the folks there have the coolest job titles… To name a few… Word of Mouth Guru, Designer Craftsman, Keeper of the Cash, Curiosity Officer, Firestarter, Fixer of Graphic Conundrums, First Impression, and Whipcracker…

They believe that companies should be “…relentlessly seeking ways to fascinate, inspire, reward and engage their customers and stakeholders…”

Basically the art of being remarkable.

Below are their core beliefs (from their website)…

The Fire

(Fire is their acronym for fascinate, inspire, reward and energize).

Are you celebrated for being Fascinating?

  • Known for powerful imagery?
  • Igniting curiosity?
  • Identity supported with stories of remarkable courage, imagination and dedication?

Are you adored for being Inspiring?

  • A magnet for kindred spirits?
  • Stimulate energy, excitement and ideas?
  • Revered in your industry for your commitment to heighten and intensify?

Admired for being Rewarding?

  • Committed to growing the value of your people?
  • Are you distinguished for your surprising displays of appreciation?
  • Do people always come away feeling they have gained something – even if it’s just a reason to smile?

Are you respected for being Engaged?

  • Are you known for actively inviting new ideas?
  • Are you humbled by the loyalty of your customers and employees?
  • Are you recognized as having a culture around understanding what truly matters to people?

If you’re company isn’t these things, why not? If you need help… I’m sure Brains of Fire will be glad to help!