I captured this photo one day on the streets of Boulder. One of the things I love about this town is it's random quirkiness. As the saying goes around here, Keep Boulder Weird. Normally I ignore panhandlers but this one caught my attention. I actually gave him money for his unique approach. It made me laugh.
While there are truly some revolutionary approaches out there--hello Twitter--most of it has been done before. So it's largely a game of a new approach--either in how you deliver services or how you market them. It's what one of my clients calls the Pink Necktie. This principle is pretty simple actually. In a crowded market what's your differentiator? And how do you communicate it in an interesting and compelling way that's true to your vision and your company? (This is totally relevant for individuals to by the way as you see by the gentleman in the photo.) Market research is a really good place to start but remember to make sure it's actually a genuine expression of who you are and what you stand for.
A Master At The Pink Necktie
FourSquare. They were clear about how their value and found a great way to communicate that connected with people. They took checking in from a transaction to something fun and cool. Their hipster, sassy tone of voice carries through their badges and even check-ins. Their biggest Pink Necktie? Founder Dennis Crowley's charismatic, story telling style.
Your Pink Necktie
Simple right? Easy? Not always. It's easy to get sucked into doing things the way everybody else does. It means taking time to get clear about what it is for you. It might mean going in a completely different direction than everyone else in your market. It means taking risks and sometimes requires guts to wear your Pink Necktie fully and completely.
Figure out what your Pink Necktie is and wear the hell out of it.