True originality is fast becoming a lost art. Who’s to blame? After all, new ideas are waaayyy harder to implement than things that have been done before, and we’re all stretched thinner with our resources and budgets. Maybe that’s why customers often come to us with marketing concepts that their competitors have put into market and a “me too” attitude.
But are copycat marketing efforts ever enough?
If all you do is imitate, the best case scenario is that you will be included with a slew of others who “are doing alright.” You’ll never come out on top, but you’ll never be alone either. Some people are okay with safety in numbers and prefer to make decisions with a herd mentality. Mediocrity suits them just fine.
But where would the world be today without a little (okay, a lot) of creativity?
Cars, computers, submarines, airplanes, television all have three things in common. One – they are a part of our everyday modern life. Two – they account for billions of dollars in industry. And three – important and influential people of their day thought these ideas would go nowhere. Take these (in hindsight almost laughable) quotes for example:
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – IBM Chairman 1943
“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” – The president of the MIchigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor.
“Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
Home computers, cars, and television would NOT be around today if it weren’t for people who agreed with Jerry Garcia’s words, “Don’t be the best of the best, be the only one who does what you do.”
Your new and creative idea might actually be crazy. It might also be brilliant. If we conscribe our actions by the definitions of the day, we are forever accepting the status quo. Mediocrity over greatness; conformity over innovation.
If you are looking to win but always follow what your competitors are doing, you will be blessed with mediocrity.
And that is definitely crazy.