How do you get attention in a crowded room full of loud conversation? One technique is to stand up and tap a wine glass with a utensil. This has become a proven method for obtaining the attention of a room at a range of events from wedding receptions to networking gatherings.
There are other options to gaining the room’s attention. You could shout over the noise, or you could walk into the middle of the room and start removing articles of clothing.
Both of these alternative methods are likely to work, but one approach is rude while the other outrageous. Moreover, the effectiveness is likely to diminish with every use as initial reactions devolve from curiosity or alarm – to indifference or even anger.
By contrast, striking a wine glass with a fork is audible over the dull roar of the room – and without being obnoxious. It’s more effective because it’s different.
This is instructive for business marketing too. The marketing landscape is noisier than ever and many businesses resort to trying to shout louder or performing outrageous marketing stunts.
Businesses do this because it’s what the competition is doing or it’s considered best practice. Yet, by definition best practice is what everyone else is already doing — where a significant part of marketing is standing out. A more effective way of standing out is to be different.
If the idea of different interests you, I recommend the book “Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd” by Youngme Moon and listening to an interview with Jay Acunzo on the Salesforce Cloudcast episode titled, “When to Pass on Best Practices and use Creative Intuition.”
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