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#5.01: The “Simple Ways to Stand Out” Issue

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to dish out the big bucks when it comes to getting noticed.

1> Stand Out Here, Stand Out Anywhere
2> It’s Not the Cake, It’s the Frosting
3> Flip the Script
4> Check It Out: Oops, She Did It Again

1> Stand Out Here, Stand Out Anywhere

When your competitors go big budget and flashy, it pays to be a minimalist. Times Square is all about the big, high-budget, fancy-pants billboard. There is no point getting in a shouting match with them unless you want to end up hoarse and broke. Instead of trying to compete with their flash, go so low-tech that people can’t help but notice you. Two weeks before the New York City Marathon, Tylenol put up a giant red billboard that had two real live joggers running on treadmills. With a tiny budget and volunteers running around the clock on a platform bolted to a billboard, Tylenol had crowds of people gawking. Tylenol attracted onlookers by whispering while everyone else was shouting. Take that, fancy-pants!

THE LESSON: Keep it simple and stand out.

2> It’s Not the Cake, It’s the Frosting

You can’t explain a complicated product with a complicated message. Always start with a simple stand-out feature to get some attention. Once people are engaged with your product, then they will dig in to learn the details. Resist the urge to get into a product to product comparison — the simple hook is more important.

For example, Apple’s iPod may be a superior product, but Apple doesn’t try to get into a staring contest over it technical superiority. Instead, they feature the white case and headphones, which stand out in a sea of silver and black competitors. When people notice the color, they are drawn in to learn about the details.

THE LESSON: Find a simple way to get your product noticed. Customers will find out about all the great features later.

MORE INFO: http://www.ipod.com

3> Flip the Script

When you’re at a trade show, don’t try to fight the big boys in their own backyard. Unless you can afford a mega-exhibit booth you’re going to look like everyone else on the show floor. At GasPedal we like to flip it around. Our potential customers are the other exhibitors, stuck in their own booths. So we walk around giving them brochures — and foam — cushioned insoles for their tired feet. The exhibitors are thrilled and relaxed. And they are much more receptive to our pitch, which may be the first one they’ve heard all day.

THE LESSON: By changing the rules of the game, we gain maximum exposure without spending the big booth money.

MORE INFO: http://www.gaspedal.com/s_tired.htm

4> Check It Out: Oops, She Did It Again

What do Britney Spears and Albert Einstein have in common? Britney Spear’s Guide to Semiconductor Physics!

CHECK IT OUT:
http://britneyspears.ac/lasers.htm

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