Think of how many messages you’re bombarded with daily. Gazillions (and that’s no exaggeration). Out of all these words and images vying for your precious attention (and it is precious), what do you remember? The ones that are out of the ordinary or the ones that pack no punch?
Too often in business we’re taught to communicate in a certain way, in an innocuous way, to not rock the boat or in any way possibly cause some kind of offense – which is impossible because someone, somewhere, is going to be offended by some perceived slight (brace yourself as winter is coming and so is the ‘Happy Holidays’ hysteria). So we are left with a bland message that is crafted to in no way upset anyone, ever. Corporate communication has become the white bread of the business world.
What exactly does white bread do? Does anyone over the age of five dig into a slice of white bread on its own for a satisfying snack? White bread is just there, to hold the interesting and delicious fillings of the sandwich so they don’t muck up your hands, to be the backdrop to PB&J, to play a background role to other more enticing elements.
Now think about a baguette. It’s exotic, it’s crusty , it’s airy, it’s delicious and it’s sexy as hell (and not just because it’s a giant, hot Phallic symbol you can bite into). The baguette is the antithesis of sliced white bread, the Superman to its Clark Kent. Ravishing a baguette in Paris is the stuff of dreams – chomping into a slice of Wonder Bread in Spartanburg not so much. At a buffet, no one is going to pass up a baguette for a piece of bread, not even the five-year old as they are just. that. enticing.
We’re constantly marketing ourselves to attract clients yet too often, we fall into the trap of being like everyone else. You’re not like everyone else so stop trying to be. Use your own voice to find your audience, your peeps, your tribe. Will you upset some one? Probably. But there’s people who are disgusted by redheads (seriously ) so don’t lose sleep over it. Hater’s gonna hate.
In a world of white bread, be a baguette.