A New Take On Business Differentiation

Hey Guys, how are you?

I was thinking about what to write for my first post on this, my new site and I came across this amazing video on YouTube while I was researching.

It’s all about differentiation and finding your business purpose. Not strictly on topic, but just a great watch and very entertaining too. They say “infotainment” is the way to go, and why not? I hope you find it useful.

Unusual Business Techniques

Let’s face it. In the hard, competitive world of business, you need to be creative to stand out and make a lasting impact. “Artists” play close attention to the competitor and then go against the grain. As David Trott said, “Creativity may well be the last legal unfair competitive advantage we can take to run over the competition.”  

To survive, you need to be better than each of your competitors in at least three ways. Below is a compilation of creative but unusual business techniques borrowed from the experts on the matter, to give you an idea.

Unusual Ways to Advertise

  • Door-hangers on doorknobs – Print a specific offer on door-hangers and place them on doorknobs in your area.
  • Flyers under windshield wipers – If you need to reach the drivers of pickup trucks, what better way than to send your team into parking lots with flyers to put under windshield wipers?
  • Purchased word-of-mouth – Hire someone to be a walking ad and ride up and down in the elevators of tall buildings, stand at bus stops, wait at train stations, hang around in coffee shops and strike up conversations with strangers. “Have you tried that new deli over on 4th street? It’s awesome.”
  • Night-time silhouettes – Install a logo projector on a windowless building. They’re unbelievably effective. You can even use an old slide projector to achieve the desired effect.
  • Publicity stunt – Nothing is quite so powerful as a publicity stunt that seizes the public’s attention. But be careful; nothing is quite so pathetic as a thinly disguised grab at free advertising. Going for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records requires a lot of work, but holding a world record has tremendous value.
  • Self-publish a book – Write a book that proves you’re an expert, get an ISBN number, register it with the Library of Congress, pay a printer to print your book, then sell it on Amazon.com or give away copies in your town. You’ll make money because of the book.

Unusual Ways to Conduct Job Interviews

  • Challenge your interviewee to an online game – A game on the website for potential hires is used as a recruitment platform. If they win the game, they get a price and a chance to interview with the company.
  • Get past the polish – Interview prospective candidates using a “rapid-fire challenge,” where a number of company representatives ask unusual questions in quick succession, such as: If you were a hot dog, would you eat yourself for food? What’s your favorite fish? If you were a color, what color would you be and why?
  • The unexpected rapid-fire questions evokes really honest responses instead of the usual polished ready-made answers.
  • Play games to break the ice – Ask prospective hires to play a game of “Jenga” with their potential managers and co-workers. The game, in which building blocks are removed from a structure until it collapses, helps the group break the ice. Each block has an interview question on it, which opens up discussion and allows the team to see how they get along before the candidate is hired.

Unusual Ways to Motivate Employees

  • Start a ‘Mini-CEO’ program – Appoint an employee as ‘CEO’ of a new in-house startup for a day.
  • Make “fun” part of your business – Something crazy like a “pyjama” day or hosting flash mobs will reminds workers that, “Yeah, I’m working somewhere really special”.  
  • Give the company to your employees – Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) may be an attractive way to motivate them, since the structure allows direct profits from the company’s success.
  • Do something crazy – Adding some weirdness to your corporate culture inspires employees to accomplish a lot. Costume dressing in the office or hosting flash mobs will reminds workers that, “Yeah, I’m working somewhere really special”.