Some businesses aren’t that interested in standing out.
Regardless of the commercial space that they occupy, some business owners would rather their organization reside in the background noise, rather than be noticed. Often the reason is related to the personality of its CEO (“Standing out is vulgar!” “We don’t want to be ridiculed.”). Sometimes it’s because companies think that key strategic marketing decisions should be made by as large a committee has possible.
But just as having too many cooks in the kitchen results in insipid, uninspired fare; too many contributors to a marketing strategy dilutes the intention, the message, the execution – and the result.
I recently stumbled upon the website of ad agency ZIG, a small-ish company with offices in Toronto and Chicago, but boasting some big-name clients such as IKEA, Toshiba and Virgin Mobile.
The website navigation is very innovative. Once the Flash applet has loaded (which, admittedly, takes an absolute age) you’re welcomed by a host from the agency who asks for your name. After entering it, you find yourself guided around by your virtual host, directing you around the site, referring to you by name. The whole thing is very slick.
The world of ad agencies is all about being more creative than the next guy, which is probably not your line of business. However, the Zig website is an example of how a company, surrounded by much larger competitors, has executed a simple idea and got their name noticed.
Your business needs to stand out. It needs to shout about how great it is.
If it doesn’t, don’t expect anyone else to.
UPDATE: On July 8th 2010 ZIG announced that they were being absorbed into ad agency giant Crispin Porter & Bogusky. Clearly being different paid off for them. Maybe it’ll pay off for your business too.