The People Pro

Training, Tips and Tools to Build Your Business and Balance Your Life!

My Photo
Location: Small town, Northern Wisconsin

Barbara is an author, speaker and psychotherapist in private practice. She provides keynote presentations and is a Certified Professional Speaker, a designation held by fewer than 8% of the speakers in the world. She has appeared on FOX, CNN, and CBS and is considered an expert in relationships.

Monday, November 06, 2006

POP-How to Make Your Business Stand Out in a Crowded Market

There is an old saying, “Be anything but boring.” Boring means not memorable; which translates into NO repeat business. Customers and colleagues must see your business as the premier resource in your field. Your business needs to be notable from competitors by product, brand, and customer service. If you are one of many, you will always be competing with others for business.

In a fascinating new book, POP-Stand Out In Any Crowd, author and award winning speaker, Sam Horn, shows you new ways to brainstorm, communicate ideas and connect with customers, clients and colleagues. It is packed with concrete ideas to break away from the pack and stand out in your field. A great tool for entrepreneurs, business people, and authors, it delivers fresh ideas, new inspiration, and techniques that work.

Horn describes the W9 Form: nine key questions to clarify your purpose; The Eureka Moment: why people love to discover the Next New Thing; and The Jerry Maguire Test: five secrets to crafting a message that gets people at hello. She shows you how to coin original phrases so you are the expert and sole “go-to” resource in your field. Some other ideas from Horn:

Think POP—Purposeful, Original and Pithy messages. People today are BB—they’re busy and bored. They have a hundred things competing for their attention and they have seen and heard it all—or at least, they think they have. Your message has to resonate in the first few seconds with people or they will tune you out. POP messages pleasantly surprise people and capture their favorable attention in 15 seconds or less.

The best way to corner a niche is to create a niche. And the best way to create a niche is to coin a word that belongs to you and you alone. That’s what Horn did with her book, Tongue Fu! (The verbal form of Kung Fu!) When you produce a trade-markable term, you don’t just have a clever title or phrase, you have the potential for a business empire.

Identify what stops you in your tracks. Keep your antennae up for what grabs your attention. If it stops you in your tracks, it will be noticed by others which set you apart from the pack. Example? A book on punctuation became an international bestseller last year because author Lynn Truss didn’t give it a yawn-inducing name. She titled it after the punch line of a joke—Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

Don’t repeat cliché’s, re-arrange cliché’s. Trotting out tired expressions (such as, “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice”) sends the message that we don’t have anything new to add to the discussion. They elicit a “so what?” response and many people will roll their eyes and tune out. Rearrange cliché’s to give them a fresh look. For example, a dog walking service called their business, DogOn Fitness: “We’re more than just a walk around the block!”

Aflac your business so they see what you’re saying. The Aflac insurance company had a difficult task, how to make people remember their name when it is basically just a string of letters. More importantly, why would people want to give their money to a firm when they don’t even know what the name means? Some brilliant marketing folks came up with the idea to equate Aflac with a duck. Now, because of their TV commercials and print ads featuring a duck quacking “Aflac,” the public associates that abstract business name with an adorable animal. Another insurance company did the same thing with similar success. What do you think of when you see the letters GEICO?

Put your slogan in a beat that is easy to repeat.
Craft your slogan or tagline to a distinctive rhythm that makes it stick in people’s brains, or even better, becomes a part of the popular culture. Remember the fast food commercials with the lady saying, “Where’s the beef?” It had s distinctive cadence that and became very popular. Most people still remember that phrase. Think of a more recent example with Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” This trademark slogan has made its way into the popular culture. Do people remember your tagline?

For more ideas to make your business POP, check out Remember, if you are not the lead dog, all the scenery looks the same.

Receive Barb's Free E-mail newsletter! Sign up at

Copyright 2006 by Barbara Bartlein. All rights reserved.