Why different is remarkable

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Most companies look to their competitors to see how they’re marketing to a similar audience. But being like your competition is not how you start conversations. If you want people to talk about you, you have to do something unexpected, maybe a little weird, and definitely different.

Here’s how people are doing it with:

1. A “whole mess of pickles”
2. A funky hospital
3. A late show residency

1. A “whole mess of pickles”

Giveaways and contests aren’t new. But this one is: Crowdrise gave away “a whole mess” (that’s a case) of McClure’s Pickles in Detroit to a lucky member who donated over $25 to a Rise Detroit Charity Challenge. That’s not just an attention-getting, weird giveaway, it’s an entire case of word of mouth tools for the winner to spread the word about Crowdrise, McClure’s, and Rise Detroit.

2. A funky hospital

The Edogawa Hospital in Tokyo looks normal from the outside. But once you enter, it looks like a cross between a pop art museum and a theme park. The hospital map looks like a treasure map, the MRI machine has a elephant on top of it, and funky art covers every wall. That’s not the usual, sterile image people have of hospitals, and it’s earned them international attention. When have you ever heard of a hospital with this many photo ops?

3. A late show residency

To promote their documentary series, Sonic Highways, the Foo Fighters took up a residency on the Late Show with David Letterman for the week leading up to the premier. During their sets on the show, they covered artists that will be featured in Sonic Highways. That’s a new way to promote a series that’s much more exciting than a commercial or making the rounds on talk shows. It’s not about David Letterman and the Foo Fighters being famous — it’s about making a partnership to help both of them do something unexpected and remarkable.

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