Saturday, April 08, 2006


Rich...! at Missing Link shares some thoughts on 'How to Differentiate Your Company' (and yourself)

Rich...! is a dude you can learn from. His company -- Missing Link -- walks the talk. When you leave their premises, if you're not wild about that company, it's probably cos you're a walking dead person.

I first came across them when I was directing a tv series about the Open Source movement (you can download the series via bit-torrent). At that time, they had skateboard ramps all over their offices, with okes actually skateboarding on them. And because of that first impression, I've been yearning to work with them for ages (and we have indeed done some work together), and I've been spreading their name far and wide.

Here is some core thinking from Rich...! on using excellence as your starting point, adding uniqueness and memorability as your differentiator. Pay attention to this post. It'll make you rich. (Or Rich...!)

How to differentiate your company.

by Rich...! at Missing Link

Pick MeSo here's the trick as I see it. People need to stop trying to differentiate simply on the product alone. They should just differentiate (like these guys).

Let me use our company as a case-study here. I own a presentation firm, our client's are big corporate companies, in theory they just come to us for presentations i.e. we're not a "creative" company as such. However when they come, we have a rule, and every employee knows it:

When someone visits our office we have to make such an impression that people talk about us at home later, not just at their office.

So we collect em in a stretch limo with hot-rod flames, we have no corporate ID, but collectable business cards (here's one). My desk is a queen-sized bed, D'ave has a coffin for his, we have a beach in the office, clients get doggy bags when they leave, and there are lots of other little things.

None of this has anything to do with our product though.

Here's the secret, the product rocks, it has to, but it doesn't matter if they talk about the product or not, as long as they talk about us.

The human brain likes to compartmentalise things, so we set out to make an impression, a big one. That big impression gets tagged "presentation guys" in our client's mind. Later when they chat to someone about presentations, that tag sets of an alarm and our guy will say, "You just have to chat to this crew, they're really good, and crazy too, they..."

So make sure your product is better than good enough, then differentiate on the simple day-to-day things that no-one else bothers with. Our visitors apologise that their business cards are so dull. That's a cool conversation to have.

This post is not about us though, promise. It's about you.

Change the mundane...!

Post inspired by Richard

Posted by Rich...! | Permalink

Roy Blumenthal blogs at Coffee-Shop Schmuck.

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Hullo Roy

We know 'Missing Link'. Their profile is at our Guest Lecturers' page:

They came to speak about blogging at the World of Work Programme 2005. Great guys!

Yeah... I know YOU know the Missing Link chaps, but this year's batch haven't met them yet. Heheheheeh. I'm heading round to their place later for a meeting. I'm looking forward to Andre's TIM TAM dunk.

Seeya tomorrow at the graduation ceremony.

Blue skies
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