The highest level of Entrepreneurship is reached when “Originality” and “Creativity” are the leading commandments of a company. Today, thanks to the internet, many businesses are rising in the last decade but not many of those businesses are innovating enough. The majority of companies out there are not exploring their own ideas nor changing the world from their company’s perspective because they’re building ordinary businesses and not entrepreneurial legacies.
Yes. True entrepreneurship is, unfortunately, a rare thing to see nowadays. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that is not every company that’s following the trend just to make money, but instead, they prefer to do business in their own way by implementing their own ideas.
Those guys are the UNICORN COMPANIES.
The companies that worth more than 1 Billion Dollars.
They create, they mix things, they explore new tactics and strategies and they usually win big.
And this makes them a great inspirational resource for new business ideas.
That’s why you’re reading this.
Because I want to show you HOW you can improve your company at several different levels, by making smart, precise transformations based on creativity juice. I want to hit you with as many inspirational punches as possible to make you realize that your company is WAY MORE than just your product or service because there’s a whole ecosystem behind of what you sell today.
So this article was made to power up your VISION and make you realize how a few, usually ignored points by entrepreneurs, can MASSIVELY IMPACT your business once you change a few things and take your company from “boring…” to “GENIUS!!!” almost overnight.
OK, my friend.
Time to open your mind for True Entrepreneurship.
THE CREATIVE WORK OFFICE
Smart business owners are always studying 2 things: Science and Technical Knowledge (Marketing, Programming, Finances etc) because they know that whatever area you’re in, there’s science in it. And those leaders are totally familiar with the scientific fact that the work environment can boost a person’s potential aggressively, making a normal employee feel MUCH better and much more “mentally powerful” at work just by spending his working hours inside a nice, pretty and creative place.
And now, we know that the right work environment can boost creativity and several other mental superpowers. That’s a hard fact researchers stated that none of us can deny anymore.
This is why the WORK ENVIRONMENT must be A-W-E-S-O-M-E today.
Because everybody who is tuned knows that the benefits are too good to be true. So good that it is forcing older companies to change their whole culture just to attract new workforce and keep themselves in the game. That’s the importance that a “simple office” is having nowadays.
OK, time to explore some brands.
Here are some out standing work offices examples that naturally INSPIRE people to work more and a lot better:
Awesome right? The colors, the creative workspace, the modern design and everything else is all put together into place to create an environment that almost any person in the world would like to spend the working hours.
A good dose of creativity floating around the environment all day long can CRUSH the competition because once customers/partners come into contact with your business, they will instantly know that they’re dealing with a special company that thinks outside the box.
This is why the “Business Champions” always try to make everybody have a great experience with their brand, whether they are a customer or a business partner. Doesn’t matter who they are because they want all of them to feel FREE, VALUED and SPECIAL every single time. Those big brands know that once you put people in a great place that makes their lives better, those people will end up investing much more time and money on their company.
For instance, check out how GOOGLE treats (actually spoils) their employees at work:
Now ask yourself this: Who would want to work anywhere else?
That’s the principle many entrepreneurs need to hold on: You must make your company look like a 2nd HOME. There’s nothing better than a company that truly cares about the employee as much as with the customer and that’s the winning edge.
So what you need to extract as a lesson from all this?
Just the following reminders:
- Create a work environment that will make customers and partners love your company
- Provide food, restrooms, gyms and everything that people would like to have
- The moment a person enters your company, it should have a powerful experience
OK? This is just ONE THING that you can improve inside your business.
We still have a lot more ground to cover here and I have more key factors to show you that can transform the way people see your business.
THE CREATIVE WAYS TO CAUSE IMPACT
Those who own a company knows that today you need a powerful marketing team and a ferocious sales team to cause impact on customers, especially nowadays with the absurd amount of competition. And because of this reality, you constantly fight to have the smartest ways possible to prospect customers and stand out in the crowd.
But once again, creativity is the best option for causing impact on the market and make people notice you. Because once you draw people’s attention through creativity, you’re half way there to close a deal or at least to be promoted by them. People tend to remember creative brands and they love to promote them because it makes them feel smart and special.
Creativity has the amazing power to build quick rapport with a customer.
And Unicorn companies know that very well.
This is why they stand out. Because their work is based on uniqueness, originality and creativity and they don’t neglect those 3 pillars for nothing, no matter how bad is the company situation at the moment.
And they are VERY STRATEGIC as well.
There are 4 areas that those companies attack more to cause impact and maximize brand awareness:
- THE SALES CONTENT — The standard sales content you use to sell your product
- THE NATURAL CONTENT — The content produced by your company (videos, images etc)
- THE COMPANY’S PRESENCE — The website, the building, the social profiles etc
- THE TESTIMONIALS — The testimonials employees gave about your company
Those are the areas most unicorn companies explore DIFFERENTLY which makes them look like an “Overnight Success” or a “Business Rockstar”. And now it’s time to suck their mojo (this last sentence was weird, wasn’t it?).
THE SALES CONTENT
Very few unicorn companies make “normal” presentations about their products and that’s usually because most of them don’t BELIEVE that anything that can be labeled as “Normal”, can be truly effective and powerful in practice. Afer all, “Normal” doesn’t sell much, and they’re usually right.
This is why the SALES CONTENT must be remarkable.
And by “Sales Content” I mean everything that has the exclusive intention to make a sale.
Here is a real example from a company that sells a nanotechnology-based liquid repellent:
“But Peterson I don’t sell that kind of innovative product!!!”
Relax. I predicted that you would say that so I’ll make use of another example, something “ordinary” like Uber to prove my point:
Now think. Can you tell by these videos above what billion dollar companies do differently from other businesses? And also, what patterns did you noticed from these sales videos? No answer? Are you trying Google right now?
Well, what you need to know is that unicorn companies basically work upon the 3 pillars below:
- PRODUCT DEMONSTRATION — The product is carefully demonstrated
- SIMPLE LANGUAGE — The company knows how to talk to the customer
- QUICK MESSAGE — Only the necessary is covered on the sales content
CREATIVE companies are always aiming those 3 key points when selling their products. Always. And this is exactly what you should do as well in your marketing to be more effective and to build a better, stronger brand. Put your creativity into a framework like the one above, and you’ll deliver impact. No matter who is watching and at what time.
Remember that the customer of the Digital Era, doesn’t have much time to hear everything about your product when he sees it for the first time because humans nowadays have a RIDICULOUS attention span when browsing the internet, which is why you must HOLD people’s attention intelligently.
Sell what you want to sell, by using the following formula:
So, whenever possible, copy this rule for your own business because in 9 out of 10 you can’t go wrong with this approach. This works. No wonder that multimillion-dollar companies are using it. The New Age of Marketing has arrived and the deal is simple:
- The customer wants to see what he’s clearly buying
- The customer wants to understand every step of your explanation in his language
- The customer wants you to be as direct as possible when doing a demo about your product.
Give all three to a customer and he’ll be much more inclined to buy from you.
But let’s not hold ourselves with just one example, we need a little more data. So here’s another example from a company that does exactly the same:
See the pattern now? See the level of simplicity? The demonstration approach?
That’s how you PRESENT your business, my friend, whether that is directly (offline) or indirectly (online). Remember that point because it will save you time, money, and it will bring you more customers.
OK! Now let’s check the next section of Creative Impacts.
THE NATURAL CONTENT
This is where most businesses make a mistake nowadays: Natural, organic content. Today, what you see everywhere is weak brands copying everything that’s working without implementing their own genius ideas to see if they can get a new breakthrough, and this is why Unicorn companies stand out once again on the market. Because they inject a good dose of creativity even in their natural content.
The business world is heavily crowded, thanks to search engines.
And even if you implement the right content marketing strategy, it won’t give you any guarantees that you will get a strong leverage against the competition.
Creativity, once again, rules this world.
So here’s the formula unicorn companies use to publish content:
Sure, sometimes the “Viral” ingredient can’t be achieved but these companies always try to hit those 4 pillars when they publish something online. They aim for interesting, they aim for educative, they definitely want it to be original and they especially want it to be VIRAL.
But in order to go Viral, you must inject your own creative juice.
Want a good example? The article below.
Source: The New York Times
This is usually how unicorn companies unleash content on the web nowadays. The content above was made by The NY Times in a partnership with Netflix where the business intention was to promote the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. And although they used the POWERFUL Native Advertising strategy, that wouldn’t be sufficient for achieving that level of maximum impact they achieved.
There’s no doubt that the NY Times article was interesting because it explains how is the life in prison for women who were convicted, and also, how their families are affected by all this. They brought a REAL life experience to the context to promote a product. Genius. Thanks to that approach, the interesting, the educative and the original ground were covered altogether with just one marketing blow.
Netflix aimed for Interesting: Check.
Netflix aimed for Educative: Check.
Netflix aimed for Original: Check.
Netflix aimed for Viral: CHECK.
And then you ask:
“WAIT! And what about the Viral factor?! Because although the NY Times audience is really big, that doesn’t make it Viral.”
You’re definitely right.
The reason why it went viral is because of these key points:
- It was well-researched
- It was interesting
- It was remarkably different
And here’s just 1% of the proof that it went globally viral:
(Ok this statistics above I made up)
Did I prove my point? Can you shut your mouth now?
Good. Because we are not over yet.
There’s more on this subject, so here me out.
KEY POINT that unicorn companies embrace as a strategy is to publish content accordingly with what’s happening in the world at the moment. They use real world conversations as a natural bait so people can link the subjects without realizing, therefore making people engage in a conversation about their brand/product/service naturally. They FORCE Word of Mouth Marketing in the real world.
And no, this is NOT the same as The Newsjacking Principle, but instead, this is about publishing content that is intended to promote YOUR product based upon what’s happening right now in life, so people can change subjects without noticing and talk about your brand because the subjects match. Totally different.
But I’ll make this simpler for you because it looks like you got confused.
Check the image below from Netflix’s original series, The House of Cards:
Can you guess WHEN Netflix created a faux campaign headquarters for House of Cards Frank Underwood, with the phrase “Frank Underwood: Anything for America” in South Carolina?
Yes, bingo! EXACTLY when the 2016 presidential campaign was being news all over the world. Netflix published promotional content to help House of Cards Season 4 be inserted into that political context the US was living on at the time. They wanted to insert the series into all the real world conversations that were discussing the 2016 presidential campaign, because by doing that, House of Cards would look like a natural subject to dive in.
Because you STRIKE people exactly when they are in that mindset you want them to be, talking about a subject you want them to be talking about that is a leverage to promote your business. That’s the goal. To place your brand into the same context of real world conversations, making the subjects familiar enough, so people can change the subject and talk about your product/service/company without realizing.
A forced Word of Mouth Marketing campaign.
Powerful blow. Powerful. And Netflix nailed it perfectly.
But there’s more creative juice to show here.
So keep reading.
QUESTION: What’s a strong reason for people sticking to brands?
PERSONALIZAION — Round #1
You make them feel special by focusing on them and not your brand or product, and this changes the focus from your company to THEIR reality which empowers their experience with your product subjectively. Here’s a practical example from Coca-cola:
Why special? Because it is about them and they’ll feel special if that product was made especially for them. Besides, everybody likes to feel special sometimes, so why not buy something that will light up the mood?
PERSONALIZAION — Round #2
But still in this subject, Netflix likes to use a slightly different approach that is also very effective. Sometimes, they add a face to a publication making things look a lot more interesting and a lot more friendly to people, creating instant connections with people. But not because of their brand and the product itself, but because of who they are using to promote the content.
Like this post Netflix made using Bill Murray’s face, for example:
A “kinda of funny”, out of the box promotional content that resulted in 2068 likes and 553 shares as you can see in the image above. The goal is to hit especially those people who love Bill Murray, but they also reach several others, thanks to the Familiarity-based Recognition Principle which makes the brain recognize a strange person somehow, causing a false sense of familiarity.
So as you can see, the natural, organic content Unicorn companies produce is not that common if you stop to study it, there is deep science behind every piece of what they unleash to the crowd, which is why they’re way ahead on the business game.
Produce different, bold and creative. And make that a rule.
Because the market will always notice those who explore that side of entrepreneurship.
Ok so far? Good. You can grab a glass of water if you want.
Because I’ll expand your view even more with unicorn companies.
There’s more content to put in your head.
THE COMPANY’S PRESENCE
By “company’s presence” I mean 2 things: Physical presence and Online presence. But since I already covered the physical side of unicorn companies through work environments, that leaves us with the later option to talk about.
Alright. So let’s talk about a basic online structure of a company: Websites.
There are a few great, creative ideas some unicorn companies implemented on their websites and that we can borrow to ourselves.
#1. AIRBNB (Website)
Airbnb is a 25 Billion Dollar Ecommerce/Marketplace company (wow!) from the United States that knows how to hold people’s attention with simple things really fast.
This is one thing you should add into your creative toolbox:
And then you ask: “But what are you exactly highlighting here”?
Well, if you visit Airbnb.com you’ll see that the “Hero image” is actually a video that smoothly holds your attention by telling different short stories about their customers and how the product/service works. I simulate the experience with the GIF above but this is not the same experience the actual site brings to the table for every visitor.
Why this works so beautifully?
Because videos are processed by the brain 60.000 times FASTER than texts! That way you can tell a short story, a short sales pitch, or any other type of approach really fast to someone who’s likely to stick around for seconds before they leave your website.
Science strikes again.
Another unicorn company that does the exact same approach is Tanium, a 3.5 Billion Dollar Cybersecutiry company, also from the United States. Here’s their side of the story:
So as you can see, the exact moment when a customer enters their website he is introduced to a short story that will at least make him stay longer. And if you “play” a catchy story from the start, you can make your brand look much more interesting to people.
#2. THERANOS (Website)
There’s ONE point that Theranos, a 9 Billion Dollar Healthcare company highlights that makes them sell more and look more credible in the market, and here it is:
Yes. The HONEST customer reviews.
Their goal is being totally transparent with your customers so they believe their business IS NOT 100% perfect because we all know that a perfect brand doesn’t exist. We all mess up sometimes. This is why they aren’t rated as 5 stars.
And by doing this, they make people see their company as a sincere, brutally transparent brand which, therefore, empowers NATURAL TRUST into every person who comes in contact with their company. A smart move your company should implement as well.
OK! Done. Now we are about to finish this.
And since we talked about reviews, the next logical step is to take a look in TESTIMONIALS.
Not customers testimonials thought, but Employees testimonials instead.
PS: Thank God this section is quick because I’m tired of writing.
THE EMPLOYEES TESTIMONIALS
When done right, an employee testimonial is truly powerful for 2 reasons:
REASON #1: Potential employees will realize that your company is an awesome place to work;
REASON #2: Potential customers will realize that you care about your team, and they will understand that your team will produce high-quality work for him.
You give 2 powerful blows with one hand in the customer’s face because you’re proving that your company is successful and that everybody who is working with you is happy. And therefore, this subjectively means that he — the customer — will also be happy because good people will be working for him.
Here’s an example about employees’ testimonials that was made by Glassdoor, in which they interview several Airbnb workers on how is it to work for Airbnb every day. Check it out and learn something good:
The GENIALITY of doing such a thing is that your employees will all feel like a rockstar, making the show be about them, and not about your company to whoever’s watching. At least at first. But thanks to the level of excitement and honest reviews, if a customer watches that sort of video he’ll definitely like your business.
Well…most of the times because there are a lot of envious people out there.
But just remember this:
Always. If you make them happy enough, you can expect to go viral at least in their social circles. That’s the KEY PRINCIPLE for “Word of Mouth Marketing”. Happiness.
But regarding testimonials, let me break it down for you so we can finish this because you might be missing some core principles here:
- PERSONALIZATION — The person must tell their side of the story involving your business
- GOOD EMOTIONS — A Testimony must always have strong, powerful and GOOD emotions
- BRANDING — Make people talk about your company, but don’t allow them to exagerate
And remember: Make it look natural.
This is why unicorn companies always use testimonials to grow their business because the power behind a natural and honest personal story about a company is captivating. People love to know about people, especially those who are living successful lives.
So keep in mind that building a real testimony base of your employees is also one of the smartest moves to make for building a fan base, and a customers base, because people love…success. Success sells.
OK. Time for a closure.
Powerful brands recognize that THE ONE THING businesses can use to change the game to their advantage is to embrace Creativity. Innovation my friend, sells really well. That’s a hard fact. Because for people, there’s almost no reason for spreading the word about a company besides telling a great, awesome experience they had with a brand that somehow changed their lives or at least their day with something truly interesting.
Become a creative brand. You won’t regret.