If you look around and pay close attention these days – marketers are doing and saying pretty much the same exact things, they’re part of the mainstream.
If the goal is to be a commodity and indistinguishable in the market – go for the mainstream.
You’ll look, feel and sound like everyone else in the market.
And nobody will pay attention.
But if you want to stand out, stop trying to blend in with the crowd.
You might think it’s a safer place to be but trying to be mainstream has the highest risk.
When you follow the “usual way of doing things,” you’re the status quo, and part of the herd.
Don’t be and do like everyone else, do you.
Find your voice and make it your own. Have conviction in what you do, even if it’s different and not “normal.”
And take some chances.
The audience you seek to serve is actually begging to be led and looking for leadership.
They’re frustrated by commodities – they want you to stand out.
For one, it makes it easier for them to make a choice.
Don’t make it hard for your consumer – use your unique voice and lead them.
Offer value first, but most of all…
…value what you do too…
…if you’re not buying you, no one else will either.
Polarization is a powerful way to oppose and contrast the mainstream.
Some of the world’s best brands use polarity to attract and bond with their ideal audience.
The goal is not to please everyone, just the people you seek to serve in your own special way…
…the way, it speaks to them.
Polarity is a great way to magnetize your dream customers and create a movement.
When you have passion and conviction, people notice.
When you stand for something, you’ll galvanize the people who are part of your movement.
When you say “no” more than you say “yes,” you’re able to focus more on “who” and “what” matters the most to you.
One of my marketing mentors, Seth Godin, tells a great story about his experience with a local restaurant he goes to. Seth wanted to order the Brussel sprouts & bacon dish, but since he is a vegetarian, he asked for it without the bacon.
The first few times he ordered this, the restaurant obliged and served it without the bacon. But the next time he was at the restaurant and ordered the Brussels sprouts without the bacon, the chef said “…you know, there’s a restaurant about a block from here that really likes vegetarians and we have almost no vegetarian items on our menu, and I think it would be better if you went somewhere else for lunch next time.”
“From that day forward, Momofuku became Momofuku, and David Chang became Chef David Chang,” Seth said.
The moral of the story here is that yes, there are plenty of people you could cater to, but the question is does that really help you make the change you seek to make?
Since we’ve added some polarity to our mix, why not throw in some discord while we’re at it?
My favorite dictionary, Merriam-Webster, defines the word discord as the following:
: lack of agreement or harmony (as between person, things, or ideas)
: active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions.
Discord is polarizing to the mainstream.
It lacks agreement and harmony.
But discord is often a precursor to change.
Change is never easy, and either is going against the grain.
It’s the hard part of the journey, but it’s also where greatness, opportunity and possibility reside.
A little polarity and discord might be just what you need to make the change you seek to make.
You don’t need consensus or permission to find your greatness in the World, you already have what you need.
To your greatness.