Remarkable businesses are innovative to the point of being individual, are due cause for conversation, and leave a lasting impression. Making your business remarkable might be one of the toughest projects you will ever undertake, but will deliver the highest return in terms of brand identity and loyalty. The sooner you get started, the sooner you reap the rewards.
Here are a few ways to get started with the process today.
Think in Terms of Stories
Human beings have been telling stories since the time of the caveman. We tell stories to help capture our history and share our experiences. Our brains are programmed to remember, share, and connect with stories. The stories your customers and prospects tell about your business are critical to a successful marketing effort. Do you know what stories your customers are telling?
Believe it or not, your prospects won’t remember how long you have been in business, how many trucks you have, or how big your building is, but they will remember how fast you responded to their request, or how your top sales person went above and beyond to help them. In fact, if your stories are crafted correctly, if they are about your prospects, and if they have elements of remarkable in them, your customers and prospects will share those stories with everyone they know.
This is where we get excited. Social media makes sharing those stories easy and fun. Before social media the only people we told about our experiences were the people we physically ran into or our families over dinner. Now people are posting before, during, and after the experience. They are writing reviews about businesses on Yelp and they are sharing experiences via Facebook and LinkedIn, all the more reason to make sure the experiences they are sharing are positive ones. Better yet, remarkable ones.
Get the right team in the room.
This exercise isn’t only for marketing people. If you see the example above, operations, finance, sales and leadership need to be part of the conversation and the work to operationalize any remarkable aspect of your business.
Keep in mind, that there will be people who say, “We can’t do this.” Don’t be discouraged and challenge them to tell you how you “can” do something as opposed to why you “can’t” do something. If one of your ideas is going to be hard to implement, consider that a positive. Why? Because that means your competitors will probably not be able to replicate it and your business will have another competitive advantage.
You don’t have to find the smartest and most creative people. You will be surprised at how intimate front line operations people are with the customer experience and how quick they are to suggest small changes that will have a big impact on your customers’ experiences. Make sure you have a cross section of people so that the entire customer experience is represented, this will ensure touch points like billing, collections, and ordering are included, if these are relevant to your business.
Is this really necessary?
If you’re thinking that your business doesn’t need to be remarkable, if you’re thinking that your business is good enough, just the way it is, think again. Business thinker Seth Godin writes, “Something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. Boring stuff is invisible. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not slapping on marketing as a last minute add-on, but understanding that if your offering isn’t remarkable, it’s invisible.” This isn’t an optional idea for your consideration. This is a requirement for business today.
It’s quite possible that if your business is struggling to grow, it might not be about the marketing your doing and it might not be the fault of the sales team, it might just be about the product, the service or the company itself.
Take a good hard look in the mirror.
One of the first steps you can take toward making your business remarkable is to look at your business objectively. Is it remarkable? Do your competitors say the same things you do? When we ask marketing executives to tell us what makes their businesses remarkable and their answer is “their people,” we smile and always reply with, “Do you think your competitors are saying, ‘our people are horrible, you will hate working with us’’?” Of course not–they are saying the same exact thing. Is your business remarkable or not? There isn’t almost remarkable or kind of remarkable. People are talking about your company or they’re not!
If they’re not, then you have to jump in and get to work on being remarkable. It might be the difference between surviving or thriving in 2012 and beyond.
Mike Lieberman and Eric Keiles are the authors of Reality Marketing Revolution. See how being remarkable drives leads, sales, and helps your company grow. Follow them @Square2 to learn more about their new book, Fire Your Sales Team Today.