Sometimes It's Better to Slip into Something a Little More Uncomfortable
Human nature, especially in this business, tends to foster taking a nice, safe, middle-of-the-road position. But think about it. In this high speed world, is the middle of the road really the safest place to be? Seems more like a recipe for roadkill. Play it safe this year and you'll most likely fall in line with everyone else. Mediocrity is contagious because you're not at risk of failing. There's no worry involved, because for the most part, you're following a way of thinking that has already been accepted. It's within this safe area that we need to stop ourselves and ask a few good questions before carrying on.
If we challenge the way everyone else is doing things, what do we have to lose? What do we have to gain?
Is the fear of failing or looking stupid holding us back from innovating and taking the lead in our industry?
If you look back in time at a few of the innovative ideas that have shaped the future, you'll find most of those ideas and ways of thinking were met with much scrutiny and disbelief. Having the courage to go against the grain and not always taking the safe route is difficult to overcome. But settling for being average within your market is also just as frustrating and difficult.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is something more and more businesses are doing these days. Take Microsoft for example, with the release of their all new operating system Windows 8, they are shaking up the computer industry. Largely described as a radical redesign, Microsoft is clearly stepping outside its comfort zone in hopes of shaping the future of the computer/tablet market.
The next time you start down the road of developing a new campaign, website or any kind of marketing communications project to promote or draw attention to your organization, please keep in mind that being uncomfortable throughout the process can be a good thing. It means you are headed down a path that will set you apart from the ways everyone else is comfortable sticking to. A path that will give you a voice to show what YOU are all about.
Fallon McElligott & Rice (FMR) put the art of advertising above practically all else, even a client's comfort level. McElligott once told an Inc. magazine interviewer that his intention was to give clients the kind of advertising that "makes the palms sweat a little" or "makes you a bit nervous." He added, "In my opinion, at least, these are the only ads worth running."
The alternative is to simply get back in line and keep doing the same thing like everyone else in your industry. I think its SAFE to say you'll be waiting there for a long time. Maybe it's time you break the rules, feel a little nervous and slip into something a little more uncomfortable.
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