For years now, I’ve told any business owner who will listen to “get different.” If you’ve read my book of the same name, you’ll know that it’s not necessarily the better businesses that attract the most customers – it’s the most different businesses. In an overly saturated market, the name of the game is standing out in the crowd.
Rather than just reshare the step-by-step guide that’s in my book, I thought I would give a rather unique example of “get different” in action – and it’s probably not anything you would expect.
Behold: Morris County, New Jersey’s sheriff, James Gannon, and his ’63 Chevy Impala. He might not be a businessman, but if he wants to garner votes for the next sheriff’s election, he’ll have to market himself nonetheless – and a classic police car is the perfect way to market what kind of candidate he is.
If you’re having trouble picturing what a ‘63 Impala looks like, think about any classic police movie from around that era. The officer probably drove something similar, with the sleek body topped with a bulbous police light. If you saw that car driving up the street, what would you think about it? My guess is classy, old-school, bold, reliable, safe and just plain interesting. To his community, James Gannon is all of those things, if only by association with his Impala.
However, I should mention that Sheriff Gannon’s car isn’t some sort of misdirect; it’s an accurate representation of who he is. Regardless of where you might fall on the political spectrum, you can’t argue with his experience: 40 years in law enforcement and the security industry, working not only for his local police department, but also for the FBI, the prosecutor’s office and finally as the sheriff in Morris County.
Sheriff Gannon’s Impala accurately represents the fact that he is classy, reliable, bold, relatable and, perhaps most importantly, safe. In a word, he’s different from the other candidates. So, if you’re looking to get different like Sheriff Gannon, let me finish up this article by giving you a few tips.
Find Your “Est”
Buying a car and outfitting it with your logo might not be the best move for marketing your business, but it should make you ask yourself these questions: What is your “est”? Are you the smartest? The fastest? The boldest? The most analytical, reliable or progressive? Find your “est” – what makes you unique – and run with it.
Keep putting your business out there, even as you start to win business. Staying in the public eye is how you communicate to your market that you’re confident in what you’re offering, and that you’re in it for the long haul. You want people to know that you’re like Sheriff Gannon and his Impala – reliable and trustworthy.
The world is changing in so many ways right now. With your very own innovative marketing strategies, let everyone know that, through it all, your business vows to remain reliable and authentic.
Mike Michalowicz is a very successful author, entrepreneur and lecturer. He has written several successful books, including his latest, Get Different. He is currently the host of the “Business Rescue” segment on MSNBC’s Your Business, and he previously worked as a small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal