Is your company interesting?
No, seriously. Can you say, hand-on-heart, that people are genuinely attracted to your organisation because it is interesting? Not just to customers, but potential employees and partners, or key influencers such as journalists and bloggers?
I’m not talking necessarily about the products you sell or services you offer. You can have deadly boring products but still be an interesting brand.
I mean being interesting in a “Wow, that’s cool” kinda way. Doing interesting and engaging things that make people sit up and take notice (and then talk about you via their online social networks), genuinely capturing people’s attention by creating value over and above your products and services, or demonstrating a usefulness to the broader community in which you operate.
The Free Dictionary defines interesting as “arousing or holding the attention”.
Arousing or holding the attention of people is a massive challenge for companies today. People have enough going on in their lives; they are time-poor and information overloaded. They don’t take notice of your advertising and they’re adept at ignoring your overly-polished nonsensical spin.
Hence being interesting is a key marketing imperative today.
It’s easy to say obviously but much harder to do, especially as ‘being interesting’ has as much to do with culture and attitude as anything. Weaning off the corporate communications diet – a one-way blasting of messages – and replacing it with a philosophy of ‘doing interesting things to attract people to your brand’ will in all probability require a mind-shift.
But it’s a shift you’re going to need to make if you are to flourish and stay relevant in an increasingly hyper-connected marketplace.
So what does “being interesting” look like? Importantly, it’s not about a one-off project, but rather an ongoing series of activities that engage people and get them talking, and then rinsing and repeating.
Being interesting could be as simple as running an online weekly TV show or radio program interviewing experts and debating issues relevant to your industry, or community, or business in general.
It might involve backing a small but very cool social enterprise and helping guide it to success.
Perhaps your company could run an annual benchmark survey relevant to your industry that measures sentiment and behaviour across a certain topic (for example, Sensis has for years produced a quarterly business index that tracks the confidence and behaviour of Australian SMEs).
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Maybe you (or your company’s CEO) could jump onto Google+ and hold a ‘Google Hangout’ every now and then, chatting to anyone who’s interested about an industry topic that’s relevant to you and your particular audience.