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15 Feb, 2011 McKell Naegle

So you’ve probably heard the saying that we are all snowflakes. No two people are the same much like no two snowflakes are the same, they are formed differently and are different sizes, but they are all special and beautiful.

Okay that’s true, but what happens when the snowflakes are in the same area? They stack up and make a big pile of snow in your driveway that you’re going to have to shovel through. Each snowflake becomes indistinguishable from another, (except that little patch that’s yellow….) If I had to find a specific snowflake in that pile, I’d look for a few minutes, get frustrated and choose whatever’s closest.

Much like people are similar to snowflakes, so are businesses. No two businesses are alike, each are unique, offer different services, different products and a different experience for their customers. But when you get all these businesses in the same area, whether it be a physical or virtual location, they make a big pile of businesses that is almost as much of a pain to go through as that pile of snow on your driveway.

So how do you make your business stand out?

Unfortunately there is not a user’s guide for getting out of the pile and standing firmly on top of it. As each business is unique, their plan for climbing to the top should also be unique.  A strategic marketing plan will help you to the top, but it’s best not to think of a marketing plan like a ladder, where each business must take the same steps. Rather, think of it like a climbing wall; there are infinite steps you can take to get to the top.

While researching I found some great examples of businesses standing out, climbing that wall, making their snowflake sparkle!

Radiohead is one of the most popular bands in existence, and they know how to stand out. In 2007, their album In Rainbows was released via the band’s own website. With a “name your price” option, they shook the music industry, giving fans the ability to pay what they felt the album was worth. I paid $17 for it (which may have been due to the confusing conversion of dollars to pounds…) But this, as a marketing strategy was huge, this gave the band global exposure, even people unfamiliar with Radiohead heard this news.

With almost four years of silence on Radiohead’s website regarding new music, Monday brought a simple site update that said “Thank You For Waiting” with a clickable link to the pre-order of their album, available Saturday, February 19th! I’ve waited four years for new music and now have less than a week! What’d I do?  I updated my Facebook status to: “Thanks for the Valentine’s present Radiohead!” Both Twitter and Facebook were trending with Radiohead news, and with the album less than a week away, the internet is full of buzz and Radiohead comes out on top again.

Swatch is another company standing out. Swatch found a very creative way to use Social Media. At a New York Fashion Week party, a model dubbed the “Swatch Girl” showed up at the event in a dress made entirely out of watches and party guests were offered free watches, straight from the model’s dress, for sending tweets to the Swatch Twitter page. It took less than two hours before the model was completely undressed, (besides the sheath she wore under.)

Read the entire story here.

Oreo is also standing out with the help of Social Media. Today Oreo is trying to set a Guinness World Record for the most Facebook likes in a day.  Read more about that story here.

And finally, Mitsubishi is standing out by setting 5 world records in 24 hours! To show just how great their new all-wheel drive vehicles handle, they set the Guinness Records for:  the greatest distance driven by a vehicle in reverse on snow in 30 seconds, shortest braking distance by a vehicle on ice, most vehicle figure eights on ice in two minutes, fastest vehicle slalom relay on ice and the fastest driven square lap on ice.

Wow. Find the entire story here.

So the best advice, while not specific, is short and sweet: be original, think creatively and stick with it. Fluid Studio in Salt Lake City is here to help you find what works best for your business, what will get you noticed, what will get you on top. From SEO to print advertising, social media to brand identity, we are here to help you sparkle.

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