If there’s one thing that we can agree upon, as we improve and refine our use of real-time marketing tools such as social media, is that Average doesn’t cut it any more.
Average is being like everyone else. It’s scoring 50%. It’s getting a “C”. Yet it’s where most companies / products / people / whatever are. The majority have to be there, otherwise Average wouldn’t be the average any more, right?
But there’s a problem with Average. If you’re faced with putting your child in a “good” school or an “average” school, which one would you choose? Would you like to order an average bottle of wine to go with that meal? Would you choose an average workman to come and fix your heating system?
The problem with Average is that it’s…well…average. No-one wants Average when there’s a choice of something “better”.
Being Average Used To Be EnoughAverage used to be enough to stay in business. Do what everyone else was doing and – while you wouldn’t be breaking any records – you’d probably still land enough customers to keep you going. For hundreds of years manufacturers all over the world strived to make average products. Marketers took those average products and sold them to average people. The world kept turning.
Then the customer took control.
The problem with marketing to average people today is that they’re no longer listening to you, or trusting you, as a brand. Today, there’s too much other noise out there. There are too many TV channels, websites, adverts, videos, and Goodness-knows what else clamoring for our attention every second of every day.
Add to that, we as consumers have less and less time to devote to paying attention to all of this stimulation. As a result, we ignore it. Today, Average equals anonymity – or even invisibility.
So what do we pay attention to? We notice things that stand out from Average. Things that break through that huge soup of monotony, that resonate with us, and invoke an emotional response. We notice Old Spice, or Dyson, or Lady Gaga, or Guinness. Then we tell people – firstly our friends, then our wider circle of influence. Conversations come into being that brands have no control over – nor have they paid for – but travel farther and permeate deeper than any full-page ad can hope to achieve.
Business survival has become about standing-out. It’s about creating a wow, so that you become noticed. The manifestation of “standing-out” is different for everyone – it has to be, otherwise we’re back to being average!
Moving Your Business Away From Being AverageFor your company, it could mean offering stunning customer service, innovative design, non-intrusive lead-generation processes, or an unusual route-to-market. Whatever it is, it needs to be differentiating enough in the minds of your customers to get noticed, and (hopefully) get talked about.
Today, a company’s biggest business risk is being average.