Is your business remarkable?


BY Sam Davies


22 July 2015

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Over the past few months have been talking a lot about how we want people to perceive Digital Noir out in the big bad world. I tend to harp on a lot about aiming to be extra-ordinary, remarkable and memorable. In a world where attention spans are about as long as………….

Trying to come up with a witty analogy for ‘not long’ I ended up watching a You Tube review on a Kawasaki Ninja and I neither have a motorcycle license nor need a motorcycle.. 

Hang on where was I?…..  Oh yeah.  People have short attention spans and an endless stream of suitors vying for that limited space.

It pays to be extra-ordinary !

We know from first hand experience that going the extra mile or taking the path less travelled certainly pays off.  Our business cards are a great example of this. I have always tried to make our cards unique. They are usually the first tangible evidence of the type of work we do, as a design agency. Last year I went all out and commissioned some really beautiful letterpress prints from The Distillery in Sydney, featuring Nicks ‘vintage ticket’ design. At almost $3 a card I must admit you begin second guessing yourself while handing them out “But are they caaard worthy?”.

However sitting side by side with some cheap 200 gsm cards whipped up at Officeworks those bad boys made an impression. Or at least we thought they did. In a very competitive market such as ours, every little edge counts. We believe we do remarkable work and deliver a service far better than our competitors, but how do you get that across without tooting your own horn.  In a recent bid for a large well known client we found ourselves in a 1 on 1 competition with another local firm who was in the same price range, had a similar style and was saying all the right things. We got the contract. Why? The client compared our two business cards and came to the conclusion that “We want to our website to feel as good as these cards “

Look at meeee!

Online it is even harder to stand out…. to get your voice heard.  I must receive 10 emails a day from offshore companies selling SEO and white labelled web/development services. The emails are all the same. I do not open them, and if one slips through my radar it takes about a millisecond for me to clock on and hit delete. I am not currently looking for a generic, bland offshore partner who is selling the “number one spot on Google in just 2 months” but cannot run a spell check or even bother trying to address the email to me personally. These emails are symptomatic of the old mindset of ‘average quality and blanket coverage’, which is a terrible business model in 2015. So the other day when I happened to click on one of these emails by accident I was surprised to see something slightly different.

I had received a few emails from a company called mylikes.com which had been deleted upon receipt. Something about helping millions of people reach customers… Jeremiah Boehner who had sent the previous email had his name as the sender and on the new email the subject as Re: Sam, which got it through my subconscious spamdar.  I opened the email and read the following:

Hey Sam,

I reached out previously regarding marketing efforts at Digital Noir and haven’t heard back from you yet.

This tells me a few things:
• You’re being chased by the T-Rex and haven’t had time to respond.
• You’re interested but haven’t had time to respond.
• You aren’t interested.

Whichever one it is, please let us know as we’re getting worried!

Now I still wasn’t really interested in what they were selling. In fact I still have no idea what it is. But the amusing reply caught my attention. It pays to be stand out from the hoards all screaming the same message. Sure his tone might have been lost on a more corporate client but perhaps that meant that Jeremiah had taken two seconds to research us or saw that my Linked in Profile is a shot of me working from bed… I appreciated the tiny amount of effort he had put in and let him know our situation.

We are being held captive by a deranged tribe of alien pirates. We are praying to the seven gods that our our release or rescue is imminent, however our faith is dwindling. Please send care to our loved ones. Sadly marketing is the least of our concerns given the current situation. We do hope that you understand.

I was not expecting a reply. But received this immediately.

I’m in the Army I could mount a rescue, I’m pretty good at forced cell extractions and hostage situations.
Perhaps if a rescue was mounted you’d be able to focus on marketing.
Let me know and I’ll rally the troops.

Well played Jeremiah. I decided I would see how far he would take the thread.

We are pacifists and do not believe in the use of armed forced. I have an idea though. You could use your powers in Marketing to divert the space cowboys attention, giving us time to escape their evil grip. We do not have much time….. you must hurry.

He left the narrative there but came back with a good reply which gave me space but left the door open should I need to contact him in the future. Which given the small amount of ‘thought’ and ‘care’ he put into this exchange, I actually might one day. It only takes small gestures or points of difference to stand out and be ‘remarkable’, the problem is people get so stuck in the day to day they forget that even a simple sales email can be a chance to get creative and get your unique voice heard.

If you need any Web Design services hit us up and if you need rescuing from space cowboys you can find Jeremiah on twitter @sfboehner

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Sam Davies

Sam has been running a Digital Agency in some form or another for almost a decade. He loves the internet and the positive changes it has brought to the world but still loves time away from the glowing cubes. Surf, Fish, Drink, Cook, Laugh….Drink! You can follow him on Instagram @samdaviesdn and on Snapchat @digitalnoir