I hate to admit it, but I'm addicted to the X Factor - my Saturday nights just aren't the same if I'm not glued to the box for my weekly fix of Simon Cowell!
This year I really think the show reflects upon our thirst for something that's unique or just a bit different (ok, maybe not Wagner!). People are fed-up of the run of the mill ballard singer or crooner - they want something that they can't already get from the top ten shelf in HMV. I believe the same applies in all aspects of our lives, particularly in todays innovating climate where products such as the iphone stand-out from the crowd and therefore have become highly desirable.
Markets are saturated by choice, the same products or services just with a different name and price tag! How many different brands of ketchup are there? But which one do you remember? The one hidden away with the dull label and no stage prescence, or the one with the well thought through campaign that makes you sit up and think?
It's surely got to be about standing out from the crowd with either a distinctive idea, an innovative product or just the promotion.
Celebrities such as Gordon Ramsey have helped us to think outside the box when we try and reach our target audience - taking free samples to the high street in a quirky way or just reinventing a menu to position the restaurant as leaders in their market for a particular dish. And Mary Portas from 'Mary Queen of Shops' with her innovative ways of raising the awareness of retail outlets that have become like dusty books on the top shelf. She has an amazing ability to blow off the dust, rebrand it, repackage it and place it amongst the bestsellers. Quite often it's an outsider with an honest, specialist viewpoint, not a friend or relative,who can help to boost sales and get the recognition that a business seeks.
I recently read a book by Seth Godin in which he talks about products and services being 'remarkable'. It has become increasingly difficult to be remarkable and unique, but companies behind campaigns such as Compare The Market (or meerkat!) have successfully done just that. They came up with a completely remarkable campaign, they got noticed, they stood-out from the crowd, they grew and increased their sales. Even stuffed soft meerkat toys have grow in popularity and it's even been reported that meerkats in our zoos have a new prime position near the entrance!!
I would urge anyone reading this blog, who has a product or service, to start thinking about how to be achievably unique, to start thinking about how to step-up against the competition and become the most desired product or service in your marketplace. I'd love to hear how you get on!