Many years ago, Steve Jobs came to the table and created a new campaign for Apple titled “Think Different.” It worked brilliantly. It’s become legendary and it’s highlighted in Marketing and Advertising classes all over the world. Everybody thought the guy was a genius. But did they think so while he was doing it? No. Not likely.
When we started our company “Why be Normal?” was a phrase that we often used. It drove the concept that if you’re trying to be different, you can’t be normal. You can’t be the same as everyone else and you can’t get attention doing the same thing everyone else does. You have to stand out — and that’s uncomfortable.
Standing out likely scares you to death.
Maybe it reminds you of being back in Grade 7, to the time when that person laughed at you for having the “wrong” haircut. Or maybe you suggested an approach that the class bully disagreed with, and you took a beating on the playground at recess.
And it’s surprising now because you run a company but you still have that same little child-like fear inside of your head. You want to be different. You want to do something crazy… but you’re scared. You want to have Richard Branson’s success but you’re probably not ready to put that bathing suit on and climb down the cell phone.
You don’t have the balls to do it.
And because of that, you’re going to be stuck where you are forever. So get used to your position.
Or change it.
Back to that little phrase used in our office of “Why be Normal?” Normal is what 51% of the population does and that never leads to being unique… and remember that as people, we’re a bit more “sheeple” than we care to admit and we find unique uncomfortable as hell.
So for those engaging ad agencies or marketing firms, be careful as you might be duped by those who put a new coat of paint on something and call it “better.” And clients, if you don’t change what you’re saying and doing — you’re likely dead. There’s no way you’re going to stand out and be different, no matter how shiny your stuff is. You’re wanting to be different but you’re actually being the same as everyone else.
And that will never work out for you.
We understand that being different is scary. Sometimes it terrifies you.
So if you can’t get over the fear of standing out then you need to get out of business. Otherwise you’re just keeping status quo, and status quo is your enemy.
And for those of you trying to actually be different and looking to stand out, then you have to follow Steve Jobs’ lead and Think Different.
Otherwise, why think at all?
Have a comment? Think we’re full of it? Fully agree and want to bask in our adulation and thanks for reaching out?