When a dog bites a man, the world doesn’t suddenly sit up and take notice. After all, dogs unfortunately are known to occasionally bite people.
But when a man bites a dog that’s different. It surprises people. No one expects it. It creates shock value.
It gets noticed and talked about as a bizarre incident.
Organizations today have difficulty carving out a unique and remarkable place for what they do in people’s minds.
They are more common than stand-out.
Their value propositions could be interchanged with their competitors and few would notice any difference.
They all market more to the masses and give little attention to the special needs of the individual.
The majority compete by trying to offer lower prices than their competition because they can’t talk about value differences.
Winning doesn’t come from being the same as others. It doesn’t result from copying best practices. It doesn’t result from being in the herd.
Success in the face of stiff competition and an unpredictable environment comes from “biting the dog” – providing value that people want coupled with surprise, outrageousness and noticeability.
6 ways you can bite the dog…
- Refuse the temptation to go along the path travelled by the crowd.
- Go in exactly the opposite direction to the established practice of the day.
- Do something outrageous that draws an “OMG!” from observers and a disdainful smirk of admiration from traditional pundits.
- Attack order of magnitude change rather than try to achieve modest incremental steps of progress. “Go big or go home” applies here. Small steps yield unnoticeable acts.
- Invite mountains of criticism from your bite the dog act. The more negative remarks the more free advertising benefits you receive. If no one reacts negatively, you have to wonder if your move was bold enough.
- Study contrarians; those individuals who have a track record of introducing weird creations in the market.
If you want mentors to copy, follow the outlandish ones.
It’s all about attitude.
If you are content to be a member of the herd, so be it.
But if you want to be special and do remarkable things, you have to bite the dog and live with the consequences.
There’s no other way.
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