Stuck in a marketing rut? Think Dirty

(Figured I’d ease back into things after the holiday.) There’s a brand of potato chips I like that goes beyond the ‘traditional’ flavors.

Sure they have the standards like Sour Cream and Onion, but “Dirty” Brand chips have decided to take the kettle chips and do a little of their own thing with creative flavors that include Sweet Potato chips, Smoky Chipotle, Pesto and Parmesan, Jalapeno Heat. (Hungry yet?)

My absolute favorite: Funky Fusion which sort of mixes barbecue with the salt and vinegar and dill pickle all at once, confusing the hell out of my taste buds.

Dare to be Different?

Still considering the marketing value of being different, thought I’d give an example. It’s not enough just to do your own thing. Not enough to do what others do but better.

Doing it better AND doing your own thing while offering more value with a better product, that’s a start and pretty soon, everyone’s talking about you and your special marketing magic. Other thoughts:

  • Build your marketing, PR, social media around your core strengths and uniqueness, not prevailing winds or shiny new tools. Use the tools, don’t let them use you.
  • If your story isn’t being told the right way, toss out the boring sales drivel and do something about it. Write it better, be it a media pitch or blog post that’s useful, valuable to the reader.
  • Find where your fish are online and social; use the right hook, the best bait. Turn your blog into a community and bring your customers to you via search, inbound marketing.
  • Make sure your team knows how to really engage with your audience. Develop relationships, not just mailing lists.

Forget copying what the other guys are doing or being ‘unique’ just for the sake of it. Get creative, get funky, get dirty.. do your own thing, better. FWIW.

Photo credit: More demotivation, because it’s fun.

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41 thoughts on “Stuck in a marketing rut? Think Dirty

  1. Well Davina, apparently you’ve mesmerized everyone with your potato chips…Well done lady 😉

    I really enjoyed reading this but the question that kept coming to my mind was how do you take someone, who sees the world as a plain Lays potato chip, and get them thinking Funky Fusion?? It’s really the great challenge I think.

    Hope you’re having a great week lady. 🙂

    Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..They Grow Up Too Fast: A Father’s Story

    1. “Easy” I say in air quotes: give them a sample, a taste. If someone’s only had vanilla, take them to 31 flavors .. or better yet, Coldstone and let them create their own flavor, see what they can add to that vanilla to make it even better! You’re right Marcus about what the challenge, the vision to see things in different ways.. I was just writing that it’s a talent or skill marketers will need. And no, it’s not always easy. 🙂

  2. I think one of the problems for many brands is finding that uniqueness that still represents their core values. The media and brand landscape is so crowded nowadays, standing out when you’re not an extreme brand like Red Bull is harder and harder. But you’re right — it has to be done.

    Now, the good news is that quality and superior service are becoming so rare that you can stand out in many industries just by doing a good job! 🙂

    Love the fork pic, btw.
    Adam Toporek recently posted..My New Comment Policy: What Do You Think?

    1. Hells yeah, SERVICE and SUPPORT, a little QUALITY goes a long way Adam, you are very right. Feels like these things are becoming exceedingly rare in the market; perhaps our expectations are a little too high? Think maybe we’re getting a little spoiled. You are also right that, it has to be done the drill down to the core and to find what makes your widget factory better/stronger/faster/smarter than mine. Which really boils down to identifying not just what makes you different or unique, but why that helps or benefits me, your customer. So glad the fork pic was a hit, would that I had designed it. 🙂

    1. Yes Glenn. I like the Despair line of Demotivators, the one about – ‘just b/c you’re necessary doesn’t mean you’re important’ is another great truism. Thanks.

    1. Heh. Erica Allison just wrote that as well (think I’m using it in another post).. I’ll also tell folks to use the tools, don’t let them use you. utility is sometimes forgotten in the quest for ‘unique’ isn’t it? Thanks and happy Wednesday Lisa.

  3. I love those chips. I haven’t tried the Funky Fusion (I usually go straight for the jalapeno)–but I’ll definitely check it out.

    Back to marketing…I think we all know that our customers, no matter what industry, are inundated with information. So it’s more important than ever to stand out. I’ve found that the best way to accomplish this is by being concise and direct. Amazingly, simplicity cuts through the noise, doesn’t it?
    Marianne Worley recently posted..Why Rough Tots Eat Cool Jello

    1. I’m not a big fan of super hot Marianne so I skip the Jalapeno; let me know what you think of the Funky ones.

      I’ve sent short email pitches “this is a PR pitch regarding …” just put it right there, no warm up or softballs; throw it straight down the middle: short, sweet, right to the point. Simple and direct can work for you, cut through the noise. Which then makes me think about Groupon and its efforts for clever copywriting which I admit, even knowing to look for it, I seldom read as I scan for the deal. Hmm…FWIW.

    1. I really thought of adding even more innuendo to the title Jack, but didn’t want to push things too far. We’ll have to see what the cool guy at the dance thinks of this. 🙂

  4. One of my favorite English professors in college remarked that “unique” doesn’t exist. In his use of the word, unique refers to the author or creators first time approaching an issue. So, while blogs on Public Relations has been done, each blog is unique and brings something different to the conversation.

    As John said, it’s like saying we breathe air.

    By way of this definition, though, it emphasizes the execution of the idea, rather than the idea itself. As you mentioned: it isn’t enough to be different. And I think that having the right perspective on uniqueness, its definition and use, clears the air (so to speak).

    It was one of those comments that I will likely always remember. It was simple and profound.
    Shad Boots recently posted..You’re A Whore (But So Am I)

    1. Shad.. That headline of yours is sure to get a look from me tomorrow and nice to see you here. Your professors example is a good one; I remember getting the lectures that ‘a press release ain’t special, everyone else has one too.’ It’s a tool that can and should be used differently, to bring something different. And hat tip to execution of the idea; that is the hard part, the work, the HOW that actually makes it ‘different’ isn’t it? Thanks.

  5. fresh and lively stuff here Davina, and I really enjoyed it.
    That fork should be sent to a hellofva’ lot of people who have a site; even if they don’t get it?
    Seems like a theme at the moment
    Being yourself and having the potato chips to be so is getting rarer.
    My strengths and uniqueness’s are there to behold and I’m going to stick with being myself.
    Thanks FWIW I appreciate the content here.
    Off to eat something that confuses my buds 🙂
    Billy Delaney recently posted..What E-Harmony can teach you about profiling customers.

    1. It’s a struggle, think a lot of businesses have a structure and culture that’s actually counter to true originality. See also the ‘entertainment’ industry. I so thank you for mentioning weaknesses Billy, we really don’t give that enough credit. Not every idea will succeed; not everyone who’s smart and hard-working will have always gotten ahead, landed the right gigs and best clients; some of us will take our lumps and knocks.. and you know what? It makes us better.. if we learn from it, apply those lessons to help others do more, do better. Oh and I like my confused taste buds, also have an appreciate for sweet and savory stuff too. Thanks for dropping by tonight.

  6. It’s tough. Words like unique, transparent, authentic, have become somewhat “plastic” words…they mean everything and they mean nothing. But in order to be beneficially unique, I think it takes being “better and different” than the next guy. Not enough to be better…not enough to be different. Like P&J, you need to spread both.

    LOVE the graphic: I want that fork…I’ve got ideas on how to make it “different and better”:) Cheers! Kaarina
    Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..When tragedy strikes

    1. I try for the graphic to make a point, as well as being funny Kaarina. LOVE the PB&J .. gotta spread both, and yes these words have become plastic, elastic, too sizzle not enough meat. Then there’s that ‘beneficially unique’ you mentioned.. I HAVE to remind myself that for a SMB navigating these waters I do have something, ME just as you have YOU to offer that no one else can. Thanks.. and let me know when you make that fork ‘different, better’ and usable.

    1. It takes some guts Gini, some nerve and some vision. Create a smartphone with NO buttons, no keyboard or stylus.. that was heresy 3 years ago but now, it’s the standard that everyone else is trying to copy. In their own ‘unique’ ways of course. Thanks.

  7. Different? who wants to be unique? I just want to be like everyone else, make a big list and sell them cheap products. Relationships?

    More seriously, being unique doesn’t mean anything. We are ALL unique after all, so it’s like saying breath air.
    I think the tough part is what our ‘unique’ actually brings to the ‘unique’ of others. Shakira is right, the right audience is the one which gets our type of unique and gets value from it.

    Can’t believe you didn’t mention Mr. Dorman 🙂
    John Falchetto recently posted..Quitting a day job, lessons from the trenches

    1. Shakirah is right John. My unique may vary from yours, from Gini’s.. and I bet everyone’s will vary from Bill. 😉 We are all unique, we all build relationships.. it is very much about the other side of the equal sign in that equation, what results, what value.. what we’re bringing to others that THEY find special, unique.

  8. Love the graphic. You’re right–we can be as unique as we want to be, but that uniqueness needs to be purposeful and appealing to the people we’re trying to attract. I think it’s just that so many of us are unsure who all we’re trying to attract!

    Thanks so much for the pingback, Davina–gotta bookmark the rest of the links, too.
    Shakirah Dawud recently posted..Wordbite: The Truth About “Very”

    1. That’s one of my issues for sure Shakirah, trying to attract the ‘right’ audience. Part of what makes me a ‘bad’ networker, I don’t really have that matchmaker skill.. that roster of connections. You are totally right, there needs to be a purpose to our unique ways, otherwise we could be spinning wheels and wonder why we’re not getting anywhere. Thanks.

  9. EXCELLENT! Love this and the links. You’re right, what’s happening on the sphere is a lot of circular speak — topically and to one another. We’ve addressed it before, and Triberr has only boosted that pace fivefold.

    Being different and unique (how can we do that?) are the quests…for anyone trying and thinking about how to differentiate, they win. It’s becoming more of a challenge, eh? And, then, people drop off and disappear or we have to change it up because customers are becoming more knowledgeable.

    We’re at a tipping point…I feel something. Change is afoot and I’m not sure where we’re heading! Thanks for the love…is that blog dead? Not yet…just on hiatus until I can get through summer.
    Jayme Soulati recently posted..Brand Your Blog Or Name?

    1. Hiatus is good. Maybe you’ll come out swinging in the fall Jayme or shake things up here and there this summer, a little ‘less is more.’ I’m trying to mix things up.. not attempt to be so ‘hardball’ or whatever, through out a gentle, softball post like this and see what happens.

      Your comment on the repetition effect, circular.. it’s gonna get a nod by a future post, whenever I get it finished. We are at a tipping point, which is why you’re seeing a little less of me. I’m trying to walk my talk of being different, NOT for the sake of being unique.. but b/c I’m really interested in exploring what else is out there. FWIW.

          1. We used to have ‘themed’ holiday contests between our offices. One year I dressed as cupid for Valentine’s Day with just a pair of heart decorated boxer shorts on. Of course I had my cupid bow and arrow too……..pretty scary picture but if someone still has it around here I will send it. Since it’s the internet, I’m sure nobody else will be able to see it……..
            Bill Dorman recently posted..Hey, I’ve been thrown out…

  10. I’m lookin’ for some fish…… is key to identify and locate your market to increase effectiveness of your campaign. ALSO, lose the ‘boring’ post haste.

    And sometimes you don’t have to do that much more to do it better; just pay attention to the small stuff and be the best you can be. Sometimes it is paying attention to the little things that get the most notice.

    BTW, I noticed you didn’t link ME in this post; I don’t think I’m coming back……….:)

    Good to see you today, hope all is well.
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Hey, I’ve been thrown out…

    1. Heh, you’ll get your linkbacks one day Dorman, don’t you worry! And don’t say I didn’t warn you either. 😉 Little things, yes they most certainly do matter. Everyone has their little quirks and likes, so if you can effectively tap those subtleties it can make a difference. Always good to see you too.

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