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    Standing out from the crowd using marketing, with Steve Clarke

    Steve Clarke
    Differentiate your business without driving down profits using marketing. Steve Clarke explains why it is essential to do something different to attract attention and how a mesmerising display could be just the thing to draw people in.
    What can you gain from swimming in the sea of sameness, doing the same as everyone else? If your aim is to keep below the radar and shoot for mediocrity, maybe I get it.
    But, I doubt that’s what most people in business want and I doubt very much that it’s what you want either. When you’re offering much the same as your competitors, all you can compete on is price. That’s never a good thing from a profit perspective, nor is it a healthy place to be for the sake of your sanity. To succeed in business today it’s vital to stand out from the crowd – for the right reasons, of course.
    I dare you to be different. Think and act differently to others in your field when it comes to marketing. Come on, I dare you. Let me tell you about my amazing £30,000,000 rubber ducks. Yes, £30million! “Champagne results on a beer budget,” that’s what I like my sales and marketing strategies to deliver. Low cost, high impact results by thinking out of the box and daring to be different are best.
    I went from cynic to convert in terms of branded promotional goods and all it took was a rubber duck and some creative thinking.
    My last business was a claims handling operation working with insurance companies that outsourced IT claims to us. Computer related claims could be complicated. The handlers at the various insurance companies were often out of their depth with technicalities and, to be frank, prior to our intervention they were often overpaying on claims and at the same time not helping the claimant either.
    When I explained our service proposition to one claims manager he said, “Fantastic, we get to serve our customers better and,” wait for it, “duck out of IT claims problems.” Ping! The light bulb went on in my head. I had a eureka moment.
    I set about ordering thousands of large rubber ducks. We had them printed with “duck out of IT claims problems, call 0800 etc. We then shipped them in bright purple boxes marked “fondle with care”. Do you think that got them opened? You bet it did. The brand recognition was incredible.
    Entire claims offices were a mass of yellow ducks. Otherwise straight-laced companies loved them. It was fun, different and memorable. One company started fancy dress duck competitions! The entire industry very quickly knew who would help them duck out of IT claims problems.
    This stood us apart from our competitors and was instrumental in our explosive growth. Six million pounds became £12m and we grew to £30m in annual sales.
    Effective marketing and brand awareness you can take to the bank. Come on – I dare you to be different. When you attend and exhibit at FutureScape later this year, how will you stand apart from other exhibitors? What will you do that’s different?
    Will you book a stand, set up your pop up banners, have a bowl of Quality Street to share? Perhaps another bowl for people to put their business cards in, like so many exhibitors at so many events around the world? Oh come on!
    We’re all sick of chocolates half way through a show. Do something different. I came across this amazing close up, contact juggling act called Enchanted Summer. It could be right up your garden path. Imagine how such a mesmerising act could make you stand out from the crowd and entice people to your stand.
    Let’s see who’s the first to act. Don’t call me, here’s their website: www.sorchara.com
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