3 ways to get off the beaten path

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It can be fun sometimes to jump in on the popular conversation, the trending hashtag, and the new fad. But it’s almost always more fun to go your own way and get away from the noisy spaces where other companies are trying to talk your customers too.

Here are three companies big and small that found a less crowded space to reach people:

1. On an unexpected platform
2. In an unexpected neighborhood
3. Through an unexpected medium

1. On an unexpected platform

Shopping networks are generally targeted towards an older audience — someone who’s home during the day and interested in things like anti-aging creams, designer watches, and Paula Deen cookware. So it might not make sense when a company like Skittles hires an NFL player to make a guest appearance on home shopping channel, Evine Live. But that five odd minutes on a shopping network helped Skittles sell out of stock on Evine.com and earned them a bunch of media attention.

2. In an unexpected neighborhood

Pop Fizz is a paleteria, or an ice pop shop, in the South Valley of Albuquerque. According to co-owner, Carlos Alvarez, it’s an unusual part of town for a brightly colored store and a laid back popsicle shop. But even though the neighborhood doesn’t have a great reputation, it hasn’t stopped Pop Fizz from becoming a popular spot. People even commission their paleta carts to cater their weddings. Carlos says they chose to stick around to help revitalize the neighborhood and serve the Mexican and South American families that might remember paleterias from their hometowns.

3. Through an unexpected medium

Every once in awhile, Skype updates their emojis. And for people who use Skype every day, like the nerds in our office, it’s kind of a big deal. This summer, Pixar saw this as an opportunity to create their own branded emojis for Skype from their movie about emotions, Inside Out. It’s a good tie-in with the movie, but more importantly, it’s a unique way to get in on people’s everyday conversations where most marketers wouldn’t think to look.

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