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How to make water, pushpins, and Boring remarkable

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It’s easy to feel like the underdog out there sometimes. Maybe you can’t afford that store space in the cool part of town, maybe it’s hard for your product to stand out, or maybe you have a name like Boring. Whatever your obstacle, you can make your stuff more remarkable with a little ingenuity.

Here are three word of mouth strategies that turned underdog situations into word of mouth opportunities:

1. Make a scene
2. Make a partnership
3. Make it shelf-worthy

1. Make a scene

With the ridiculous cost of retail space in Tokyo, one designer decided that if he couldn’t afford a regular-sized shop, he’d make a tiny one. He drove a remote-controlled pop-up shop displaying his tiny product, pushpins, all over a busy shopping district in Tokyo. In a sea of big, flashy shop fronts, he got more attention by being small. You can’t always beat your competitors with the expensive stuff, but by being completely different, you can stand out even on a small budget.

2. Make a partnership

The small farming town of Boring, Oregon has heard all of your jokes, and they’ll admit there really isn’t much going on there. But when one resident came across Dull, Scotland, an even tinier town north of Glasgow, they decided to bring a little excitement to both communities by celebrating Boring and Dull Day. It’s a way to bring the communities closer together and earn some publicity for their little towns. On their own, Boring and Dull are funny town names. But by making a partnership, they made something worth talking about.

3. Make it shelf-worthy

To celebrate their canals’ 400th anniversary, Amsterdam created a line of specially designed bottles filled with water from the canals to sell as souvenirs. Selling water, sand, and other cheap artifacts as travel souvenirs is nothing new. What makes these different is the packaging. By putting the canal water in a quirky bottle, they turned the typical souvenir into a conversation piece. Are you thinking of the small changes you can make to get your customers’ friends to ask, “What’s that?”

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  1. Craig Sutton July 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Andy – Being a little guy in a noisy marketplace, it’s tough to brand, brand big and get the buzz. It takes creative innovative ideas just like you referred to above

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