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Here is a sneak peak of some of the things we will cover in much more depth on the webinar:
1. A lot of people talk about being different, but don’t have the courage to be different.
Being different is hard. What invariably happens in any industry is the convergence on the same set of competitive attributes over time. It’s not hard to see why this would be the case in the non-profit world. Everybody goes to the same conferences, sees the same speakers, and reads the same case studies. It’s hard to look your board members in the eyes and say, “I know that every other non-profit organization is doing X, but I strongly urge you to consider that we do Y”. We all say we want to be different, but few of us have the courage to take that all the way to its conclusion.
2. Reverse positioned brands stand out by eliminating things you think the market wants.
Reverse positioned brands look at that others in their industry are up to, and make the decision to do the exact opposite. The clearest example of this is Google. Before they launched their minimalist search engine interface, it was the “best practice” to have as much content on the homepage as possible. Of course, we all know how that story played out. So what can your non-profit do in order to become a reverse-positioned brand? Take a look at some of the “best-practices” in the industry, and wonder what life would be like without them. Do you really need to put all the names of your donors in your annual reports? Do you really need to run golf tournaments and galas just like everybody else?
3. Breakaway brands are different, while remaining familiar.
As human beings, we are very good categorizing the things that we experience so that we can make sense of them. In fact, for the most part we see the world based on those categorizations. What breakaway brands do better than anybody else is leverage this fact by asking you to replace one mental model with another. As Moon says, “these are companies that say: I know you are inclined to think of this as a slice of swiss cheese, but what if you were to think of it as a flying carpet instead?” A great example of this is the “Pull-Up” by Kimberly-Clark – part underwear, part diaper.
What can a non-profit do to become a breakway brand? How about doing a “social lottery” on Facebook that gives away small daily prizes (that you get donated, of course) in return for your supporters spreading the word about your cause? They are familiar with the lottery concept, and also with Facebook. But there it is, something new: the Facebook Lottery.
4. Hostile brands challenge us to take notice.
The third and final way to be different is to use hostility to your advantage. Moon explains what a hostile brand is by saying that “instead of laying down the welcome mat, they lay down a gauntlet”. A great example of this is Mini, who challenges us by seemingly saying “It’s even smaller than you think”. This one seems counterintuitive at first. But what if rather than making things as easy as possible for your donors, you made them as hard as possible? Dan Pollotta suggests that the 3-day events that his company pioneered were driven by the question of “what if we asked of people the most that they could do, rather than the least?” What other perceived weaknesses could you potentially turn into strengths?
5. Being different is hard work and is never finished.
Because of our tendency to look to our peers to learn and grow, it’s inevitable that any innovation in the space will be copied and adopted by the entire industry. So, your job as an innovator never ends. But that’s ok – because like the other world-class brands that are unique in the marketplace, you’ll always be one step ahead of the competition. And that, my friends, is how you create passionate and loyal donors.
If you want to learn differentiation from the master…
Join us for this interactive webinar where where you’ll learn exactly how to apply these concepts in your business, and as usual, leave time to get your questions answered by one of the most fascinating minds in business. Remember to register today even if you can’t make it the day of the event. You can only access the webinar recording after the event if you have registered for the webinar, or if you are a Read It For Me Pro subscriber.
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