LATE JUNE 2019
Seven Reasons Being “Weird” Can Be Great for Your Business
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that would be thrilled to find out you thought they were weird. As a social defense mechanism, an aversion to weirdness comes naturally to most people. Growing up, most of us want to fit in with the crowd, and we may even suppress our own peculiarities in pursuit of that goal. What some people fail to realize is that these differences can be your greatest assets if you aspire to stand out among the crowd. Once you identify what they are, you can begin to leverage them to your advantage.
This concept can be applied to businesses as well, no matter the industry or size. Just like people, businesses that are different or unusual may find themselves among the “weird” crowd. At first, you may feel insecure about this, but that’s natural. The good news is that if you play your cards right, you’ll find that this is one of the best crowds for your business to be a part of. Once you become more comfortable with the peculiarities of your company, it’ll open the door to a world where you can exploit your imperfections in order to captivate customers. Your weirdness sets you apart, and any success you find from it will make it challenging to replicate.
Here are the seven reasons being weird can be great for your business from Pink Goldfish:
1. Being weird makes you rare… being normal makes you ordinary.
Scarcity increases value. Diamonds are valuable primarily because they are rare. Sand and salt are far less valuable, not because they aren’t useful, but because they are so ordinary and plentiful.
2. Being weird makes you original… being normal makes you easy to imitate.
The value of any product or service immediately decreases once there are acceptable alternatives. An obvious example comes from the world of work. When someone’s job can be done faster or cheaper by a computer or an outsourced contractor in another location, that job becomes less valuable. The salary for that position decreases and the likelihood of being replaced increases.
Original brands avoid imitation. They make it difficult to be replaced. There are no good substitutes.
3. Being weird makes you noticeable… being normal makes you invisible.
Fitting in and following the herd makes us invisible. If we do things well, no one can see us. If our business fits in, everyone drives right by. No one stops. They don’t know we’re even there. If they do stop, they don’t stay long, and they don’t buy anything because our products or services are just like everyone else’s. If we fit in, we don’t get any attention. And attention is one of the most valuable gifts we can get from customers.
4. Being weird makes you surprising… being normal makes you predictable.
As Chip and Dan Heath explain in Made to Stick, we are more likely to be persuaded by messages that are unexpected. If we can surprise someone, we create an emotional response. Our brain is programmed to release dopamine as part of an emotional response. Dopamine is literally the Post-it note for our memory. Surprising and ultimately delighting a customer generates experiences that are remembered and shared with others.
5. Being weird makes you memorable… being normal makes you forgettable.
We remember the unusual events in our lives, not the common ones. If no one remembers your brand message, then you don’t have the opportunity to influence them. The worst criticism that Simon Cowell, the caustic judge of American Idol, can give is that a contestant is forgettable. In contrast, one of his most powerful compliments is that a contestant is memorable. He recently told one female singer, “You are such a strange person. I mean that as a compliment.” We remember people and businesses that are strange.
6. Being weird makes you remarkable… normal gives people nothing to talk about.
When we see something different, we want to tell other people about it. Once people remember your business, the biggest challenge is getting them to tell others about you. As Mark Sanborn demonstrated in The Fred Factor, a story about his extraordinary mailman, if you are remarkable enough, someone might even write a book about you. Word of mouth is powerful for both individuals and businesses.
7. Being weird makes you influential… being normal makes you powerless.
If other people are sharing your message, it increases your influence because it enables your message to reach a larger audience.
These are simply the reasons being weird can be great for your business, the first of many lessons in the book Pink Goldfish, written by Stan Phelps and David Rendall. If you’re interested in learning how to exploit the weirdness in your business in order to captivate customers, visit PurpleGoldfish.com to learn more!