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The Easter Egg Hunt Strategy to Help Your Brand Stand Out

Easter’s here! Of course that means a lot of things and things aren’t quite back to “normal” yet so there aren’t many Easter egg hunts out there. Sadly, my kids have outgrown Easter egg hunts. They’ve moved on to archery Easter egg shoots so they’re okay with that.

Over the years, I did learn a pretty valuable brand lesson from watching (and sometimes even participating in) egg hunts.

Most every Easter egg hunt that my kids took part in had one special, golden egg with a big surprise. The surprise was usually pretty nice - a $10 bill, a Chick-fil-A gift card, a pack of Pokemon cards - something that made this one egg a treasure compared to the hundreds of other candy-filled eggs.

The golden egg was almost always hidden somewhere completely different from where most of the other eggs were hidden. And that’s usually how the “winner” found the golden egg. When everyone else went searching for eggs in one direction, this kid searched in the exact opposite direction. When everyone zigged, the winner zagged.

(I wasn't even trying to find the golden egg. I was just happy to be there!)

 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but you have gazillions of messages, ads and experiences jockeying for your attention all day, every day. 

In fact, it’s estimated that you likely encounter between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. That’s nearly double the estimate from 2007, so you can be sure that number will only increase going forward.

Fortunately, you’ve recognized all these ads and impressions for what they are - distractions. And you’ve learned to ignore them for the most part. Unfortunately, most companies have caught on and are throwing even more ads in your face in the hopes that they can somehow catch your attention.

And here’s the thing, it’s not just you that’s being bombarded with - and desperately trying to ignore - all of this. Your customers are experiencing the exact same thing.

In this ever-increasingly distracted, competitive, crowded world it’s getting more difficult to stand out. If you want to stand out today, it starts with your brand. And the strongest, standout brands are the ones that are different from all the others. The solution? When everyone zigs, you zag.

And the simplest way for you to zag is to look at what everyone else is doing and do something different. Really, truly different.

Too many times, when marketing leaders say they want to differentiate their brands they talk about adding new features, providing a faster service, offering a lower price or even rebranding their logo (🤦 don’t even get me started on that one!). But these efforts aren’t really about being different. They’re simply about being better. And when you make efforts to simply be better you only achieve “better” for a short-term period until somebody else comes along with......................something better. 

Being better may get you noticed, but usually for just a brief amount of time. And then you’re likely forgotten. On the other hand, being different may not get everyone to like you, but I can guarantee that it’ll get you noticed. I can guarantee that you’ll be remembered. I can guarantee that it’ll bring you loyal fans.

Being better is temporary. Being different is long-term. Like Sally Hogshead says, “Different is better than better.”

 So what does that look like? Instead of trying to outdo your competition, focus on what already makes you different. Or find a way to be different, and then highlight that in everything you do. Sometimes even the slightest difference is enough to help you stand out.

In his aptly named book, Get Different, Mike Michalowicz actually gives a framework on how to do just that. It’s a fast, 3-step process to get noticed and move your customers to take action, and Mike calls it the DAD Method.

1. Differentiate – Get different to get noticed

This first step is to identify an approach that “stands out in a sea of sameness.” What can you do or say that’ll make your customer’s minds stop and pay attention? What can you do to quickly engage them once they’re paying attention?

2. Attract – In a way that attracts your ideal prospects

The next step is tricky. It’s not just enough to simply be different. You want to ensure that your different approach will actually appeal to the people you want to serve, not turn them off. You have to really empathize with and know these people to know what they’ll pay attention to and engage with.

3. Direct- Illustrate a clear message of what action you want your prospects to take

In the last step, your customer is saying, “Okay. You have my attention. Now what?” So you need to call them to take a specific action. And the way you tell them has to be absolutely, positively clear. But that doesn’t necessarily mean clearly asking them to make a buying decision. It can simply mean clearly showing them how to take the next step in their experience.

Still not sold on the idea of different? Still think that only applies to a select few types of brands or industries? Still think that your situation is one where you know your brand’s best opportunity is to simply be better than your competitors?

How about ice cream? If you were to start an ice cream brand what would you do? Most people would want to create the highest quality flavors - something better than all the other ice creams. But not Melissa Tavss. She decided to make her ice cream, Tipsy Scoop, stand out by being different. How different?

Well, all of Tipsy Scoop’s flavors are infused with alcohol. Why offer a better (boring) vanilla when you can offer Cake Batter Vodka Martini, Raspberry Limoncello Sorbet, and Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel? And was Melissa’s different idea successful? Today Tipsy Scoop has multiple retail locations, is sold online and through online retailers like Goldbelly, is sold in brick and mortar retailers like Whole Foods, employs over 50 team members and generates multiple millions in income annually. All from deciding to create different ice cream instead of better ice cream.

Well how about baseball? If you owned a baseball team what would you do to increase fan attendance? Most people would decide to offer more comfortable seating, a nice upgraded stadium, better food. But not Jesse Cole and the Savannah Bananas. Jesse decided to offer the Savannah Banana fans something different than every other baseball experience. But how can you be different in baseball? It’s just baseball, right?

Not when you have a breakdancing first base coach, not when the team owner runs around greeting fans in the stadium all while he’s dressed in a neon yellow tux, not when you let fans catch foul balls for outs.  

The Savannah Bananas are the epitome of different. Jesse Cole says, “Our whole mindset is: Whatever is normal, try to do the exact opposite.”

While every other baseball team nickels and dimes their fans for tickets, service fees, parking and concessions the Savannah Bananas goes different by simply charging one all-inclusive ticket.

While every other baseball team owners stays up in the luxury suite schmoozing sponsors, Jesse Cole goes different as he emcees the entire night and constantly runs up into the stands to take selfies with the fans. And he’s ALWAYS in his on-brand yellow tux.

While other baseball team stadiums like to “play their part” in bombarding you with thousands of sponsor impressions and ads, the Savannah Bananas go different by playing in a completely ad-free stadium.

Okay, but are the Savannah Bananas just a gimmick? Did these shenanigans actually help significantly increase attendance? Yes, yes they did. In fact, they’ve sold out every single game since their inaugural year in 2016, and the waiting list for season tickets numbers in the thousands. And they completely sold out all tickets to their 2022 14-date “world tour. Beyond that, they have a raving fan base across all 50 U.S. states consistently buying Bananas merchandise.

 Hopefully it’s now clear to you that there’s significant value in being different.

 When it comes to your brand strategy, when it comes to your marketing, when it comes to your experience you’ve got a couple of options you can bet on. I suggest you double down on different.

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