Breaking All the Rules

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As branding managers, our years of experience have taught us a few tried-and-true methods that make up the key to long-term marketing success.

That said, we never hesitate when the opportunity arises to try something new, even if it comes from a place slightly outside of the box.

When it comes to your company’s marketing path, you have two options: a) Do what has already been done and has proven successful; or b) Try something different that might work, but also carries a risk factor. Often, choosing option b brings the best return on investment, because the results garnered by innovative thinking have more “stay-power” than the same old approach that consumers have come to expect.

Who Makes the Rules Anyways?

Who wrote the branding and marketing rulebook? People just like you; but before it was a “rule” it was an unproven new idea that may have been frowned upon by others. Do you think the great innovators of our time – Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Page, for example – followed a model of what to do in order to be successful? Or did they develop their very own model to follow in order to turn their inventions into the most recognizable products invented in the 21st century.

Creative thinking is the key to success in any field. Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, stated, “Always challenge the old ways” when he was asked about his advice on innovation. Instead of becoming just another moderately successful coffee shop, he became THE ONLY $40 billion coffee shop in the world. Now, his business model of success has become the inspiration for entrepreneurs everywhere, not just in the coffee business. How did he go from being the odd one out, to being the most successful operator in his line of work?

He did it the same way that a handful of other great minds have stepped outside of the confining cages of “acceptable behaviour” and begun to re-invent their industries. Instead of succumbing to trends, they reversed their thinking and built their brands by doing things in a way they had never been done. The article “12 Greatest Entrepreneurs of Our Time,” written for CNNMoney, offers some further examples of ground-shifting social and economic players who have successfully re-imagined the world of branding and marketing. These immensely recognizable companies are perfect examples of the success that can be achieved when a risk is taken and everything goes right.

The greatest moments of hesitation preventing other companies from breaking the rules and innovating on their own terms come from the fear of failure and the risk factor that needs to be considered. If your company is trying to emerge in a competitive market, the way you do so will make all the difference.

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