Sometimes being practical means being rebellious.
This is a way of being that some entrepreneurs have. That is, they’re downright crafty.
Samuel Zemurray was a fruit farmer/exporter. His competition was the enormous United Fruit.
They made doing business difficult by bribing local officials into making bridges illegal.
Zemurray got around this by building two long piers that reached out far into the river. These could be assembled and deployed in a matter of hours.
When United Front complained, Zumurray laughed and replied “Why that’s no bridge. It’s just a couple of little wharves.”
You can use this same daring and rebellious spirit to your advantage.
Brewdog, a craft beer producer, felt the wrath of the tabloid press when they released, to much fanfare, their 18.2% Tokyo Stout.
A question was even asked in parliament about the beverage. In retaliation, Brewdog released a 1% beer, Nannystate.
They have since driven a tank down Camden High Street; named a beer after the heroin-and-cocaine cocktail that killed River Phoenix and John Belushi; Projected naked images of the founders onto the Houses of Parliament; brewed beer at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean; dropped stuffed cats from a helicopter onto the City of London; employed a dwarf to petition parliament for the introduction of a two-thirds pint glass; and released, for the royal wedding of 2011, a beer containing so-called natural aphrodisiacs, such as ‘herbal viagra’, chocolate and horny goat weed, which they called “Royal Virility Performance.”
Brewdog create stories.
Their launches are newsworthy.
They get free natural and international press because they bake stories into their marketing and products themselves.
That’s why the media covers them, even if they only do it to promote their products.
If you are capable of doing this, you will have a gigantic advantage over your competition.
I’ve benefited from this penchant people have for stories. My drunk cold email story contains a natural hook.
People tell their friends. Podcasts reach out to me because I stand for something and have a good story.
You might say, “I’m in a boring industry, I can’t do that.”
Blender manufacturer, BlendTec prove otherwise.
They produced a video where they blended an iPhone with the title “The iPhone: Will it blend?”
It went viral. They achieved free international press.
They continued producing videos and attracting tons of free coverage, all while demonstrating their products prowess in the process.
BlendTec baked in curiosity. “What’s this going to look like? Will it work?”
I don’t own a BlendTec. But I’ve researched them online and come close a few times.
If you asked me to name a Blender manufacturer, they would be the first name out of my mouth. I doubt I’m the only one. All because of a ‘silly’ video that most departments would have never let happen.
A more sensible marketing department would have poo-pooed it as ‘damaging the brand,’ or such videos would cause customers to engage in dangerous ‘blender-play’ and we shouldn’t encourage such behaviour.
Being daring and distinct provides a commanding competitive advantage.
Proceed with daring, and you will find companions, advocates, and customers from every corner of the globe.
Have fun out there
C’mon, you knew I had to insert a cheeky plug somewhere.
Have a great day.