Meet me out back Dude

To survive in today’s business economy you’d better be willing to be creative.  Anyone can make a hamburger, sell t-shirts, do graphic design, or provide web and email services.  But Moolala, Threadless and GoDaddy have set themselves apart from the competition by being creative.  Here’s another example.  We all know the airlines are struggling – with many already in bankruptcy.  But Southwest continues on with profitability. Here’s a glimpse into their creative culture.  Back in 1996 Stevens Aviation threatened to sue Southwest for using the motto “Just Plane Smart.”  Although Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher is a lawyer, he challenged the CEO of Stevens to an arm wrestling match to settle the issue.  Kelleher lost the 2 out of 3 competition – or did he?  The event created world-wide exposure for the company and is now sometimes referred to as the greatest publicity stunt ever.  It created such good will for both companies that Stevens Aviation agreed to let Southwest use the slogan anyway. What are you doing that is creative in your business?

Are you just offering a good service at a fair price?  That may not be enough in today’s workplace.  Seth Godin says you have to do something “remarkable.”  Like having a purple cow in the middle of a herd of Holsteins.  Or arm wrestling your competitor.

What radical thing could you do to create publicity for your business?

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  • Steve

    Sorry gang:
    “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” is by Seneca

    “I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” is by Oprah Winfrey

  • Hi Dan,

    I received your email and at first I thought you were sending it specifically to me. See I am the “Digital Marketing Dude” and your email subject said “Meet me out back dude”.

    I was pretty excited to say the least to have a personal email from Dan Miller in my inbox.

    I do work for clients to help them spread their message with a good website, social media and many other digital marketing tactics. The first thing I always start with is having my clients answer the question “Why should someone do business with you?

    Plus many other questions but that is at the core of it all. If you can not do something to make your self stand out from the competition you make it very hard for your prospects to choose you and for your past clients to refer you.

    Making a lot of new efforts in any marketing, digital or otherwise will be 10x’s more effective when you can clearly communicate the reasons why!

    Thanks for all you do Dan!

    Peter Brissette
    the Digital Marketing Dude

    • Peter Dude,
      I’m delighted you are the Dude! Consider the post sent to you personally. Maybe you can use the Southwest story somewhere in your work with helping people on their marketing. Thanks for your input.

  • ARF

    I once worked for a swimming pool contractor who mostly built custom in ground pools. For customers who couldn’t afford that, he would try to sell them a less expensive fiberglass pool. We’d buy them in Mexico, and drive them up to us on a huge trailer. The whole route had to be approved by the Texas DOT. Well, my idea was to put an enormous signs on all sides of the pool that said: This pool could be yours for only $20,000 (erm, this was back in the ’80s) and then drive the trailer downtown and intentionally snarl up traffic. In a mid-sized city like we were in, that would have been sure to get all the TV stations there to film it, and everyone who watched the news that night would, hopefully, see the price and maybe quite a few of them would realize they might be able to afford a new pool after all. Of course, there would be fines to pay, but the payback would have been huge … my boss never would go through with it.

    • Unfortunately, doing things the traditional ways seldom brings extraordinary results. Hopefully you have the freedom to try innovative ideas where you are now. Keep those creative ideas flowing.

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