Don’t spend too much time looking back if you want to move forward. Maybe you should even follow the advice of the highly successful British chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay:
The next cow, he says. In that case, go for a purple cow.
“Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” is the title of a 2003 book by Seth Godin. The book’s main point is this:
"Today, the one sure way to fail is to be boring. Your one chance for success is to be remarkable."
He is right. You can’t survive by being mainstream. Your customers have many options so if you don’t stand out you will be ignored. You may even feel that you are on the right track but you will get run over if you just sit there.
“Fine,” you may think. “How can we become remarkable?” Well, Seth Godin has kindly provided a 10-point checklist, which slightly edited goes like this:
- Understand the urgency of the situation. Half-measures simply won't do.
- Remarkable doesn't mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to your customers.
- Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable. It's easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful.
- Extremism in the pursuit of remarkability is no sin. In fact, it's practically a requirement.
- Remarkability lies in the edges. The biggest, fastest, slowest, richest, easiest, most difficult.
- Most people don't appreciate your efforts to be remarkable. So what? Most people are ostriches.
- If it's the accepted wisdom, then guess what? It's boring, not remarkable.
- It's not really as frightening as it seems. Who is most at risk? Not the remarkable minority.
- No use being remarkable at something that people don't care about. Not all people, just a few.
- What's fashionable soon becomes unfashionable. You must reinvest and reinvent.
Good and sound advice, but maybe it can be boiled down to this:
Don’t just stand out, stand for something!
At Lindberg International, we do our best to take our own medicine. We want to be the best partner any internationally oriented business-to-business company that wants extraordinary growth can have. Have we succeeded in spreading our GrowHowTM? Well, we grew by almost 20% in 2015 so we are on the right track – and we don’t intend to just sit there. We have some interesting things coming up in 2016, including a purple cow or two.