You will have noticed that the festive season is again just around the corner.
After all, with all of the marketing material flying around in your face, trying to grab your attention, how could you not!

This time of year is particularly notorious for bringing us something I like to refer to as “clutter”.

Peoples’ mailboxes are filled with it. It’s all over your TV during the breaks for your favourite shows. Billboards etc… all vying for your attention – to make sure you buy all of your Christmas goodies HERE!

With the average person receiving something like 40,000 advertising messages a day, you need to get smart and outsmart the competition through innovation and appealing to their deepest needs and wants! FAST!

Particularly in these uncertain economic times.

Sadly, we don’t all have the advertising budgets of the Coca Cola’s and McDonald’s of this world, but the good news is…

To capture your customers, you don’t need it.

You just need to start getting creative and appealing to their emotions.

Here’s a little example that I would contribute a good chunk of my success to when I was buying businesses, fixing them up and selling them on back in the day… And making a tidy profit in the process. The formula was almost always the same.

The first thing I’d do is get a big pot of fluoro paint, something that really stands out – an orange or a pink, the worst you can find, and I’d splash over all the windows that has street frontage “New Food Concept Coming Soon!”.

You bet that didn’t spark some interest?
So for the first couple of weeks as I worked out exactly what this food concept was going to be, everytime someone walked past they got a little curious.

As the time got closer I added “New Food Concept Coming Soon! Opening in 5 Days” and we’d count down.

Can you imagine the line-up on the day of opening!

If you’re really balsy you can offer a free lunch on opening day, think of it as part of your marketing budget. If you want to be run off your feet and start a serious buzz, not to mention people get to try out your fantastic offerings, it’s not a bad way to go. How often do you get a free lunch these days?? You reckon this would make you stand out from the crowd? I reckon so.

The other thing I did that used to win every time was to create a new product – I widgetise a snack type food that was easy for people to take away, and that they could only get from me.

I’m proud to say, that I am personally responsible for the wedge coming back to Australia!! Yes, you can thank me later.

I was travelling around looking for a new idea and came across this Italian Eatery in a food hall, and they were serving up potato skins piled with sourcream and chives and people were buying them by the bucket load.

I came back the next day and took photos so I could replicate the creation (much to the owner’s disdain), got on the phone to Sealanes, who, it turned out had freezer loads of them because nobody wanted to buy them so I bought the lot at a bargain rate, got my paint out again and wrote a big sign on my window… “Hot Lips” and the rest, as they say, is history.

There was an earlier attempt to bring the wedge back into Australia, which proved to be unsuccessful. It was only 5 years later when I managed to widgetise it with a dollop of sour cream and chives, that it really took off and turned out to be an incredible success.

You see, my place was the only place you could get them and I built a fantastic reputation off this one idea.

But don’t despair if you can’t think of something that will start a revolution right again, just anything that sets you apart from your competitors – makes you stand out from the clutter – will do.

You want your bonus to add value to your offer, not an expense to your bottom line. So if you sell physical goods, consider using low-cost items you’re overstocked on and are having trouble shifting.

Another idea is to request samples from manufacturers that you can distribute to your customers. Your supplier partners may be more than happy to provide these samples to you for free if you explain that you’ll be distributing them to folks who are good prospects for them.

Either way, ANYTHING you do, will likely to be MORE than what your competitors are doing anyway…

Find a way to stand out from the clutter!

All the Best,

Mal Emery

Committed to Elevating the Financial Wealth and Wellbeing of Society Through Entrepreneurial Excellence and Guilty of Conspiracy to Create Capitalism

Posted on December 12, 2008 - 10:51 PM

- Updated on December 12, 2008 - 10:51 PM

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