Being Remarkable

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If any one message from May’s #BMA15 event has stayed with me, it’s this: Be remarkable. I don’t remember who said it first, but it became a recurring theme throughout the three-day conference, voiced in one particularly memorable quote: “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” Being part of an Ogilvy & Mather agency, I can’t get on board with that train of thought—but given the work we do for our clients, the idea of remarkableness asks me to think about what it is we bring to the party every day.

How does a company become remarkable?

When our economy took a nose-dive, companies were hit extremely hard. As in any financial downturn, marketing departments took it on the chin. Today, marketers seem to fall into two general categories: those who survived the volatile years and continue to be scrappy, and those who survived and now fear risk.

Do you have to be risky in order to be memorable? I don’t think so.

A significant point of differentiation can make a company known and revered. But that uniqueness isn’t a requirement. The requirement is having a mission, a clear understanding of your company’s value and a willingness to try something new.

What else? At Leopard, this is what we’ve learned:

Have a story to tell. And not just any story: Have a compelling story that speaks to people’s needs. One they’ll care about. Create a connected ecosystem of communications that will help you tell your story consistently. Align your organization so that all facets of the business advocate for the same thing and speak from the same page—especially your sales teams, the most critical manifestation of your brand.

And don’t rest on your laurels. Be willing to do things differently. Relook at your targeting. Reconsider your person-to-person strategy. Blow up your approach to content: Don’t just be “always on,” be strategically present. Go big in one area rather than being small in many. The market is begging you to push your own boundaries of creativity. And everybody can do it. Go out and find your remarkable.