Ah, Paris …
If the photo to your left heightens your senses, the real thing is alive with even greater verve, dimension and allure.
But you already knew that, right?
Still, Paris isn’t all breathtaking lights and echoes of Empire, art and culture.
It’s not all the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées, Les Invalides, Café Les Deux Magots, or Sacre-Coeur sitting high above Montmartre.
Against all this is an unspectacular Paris suburb by the Seine called Grevilliers.
When Nicholas Sarkozy was President he had a mind to do something about it. He wanted to improve the French capital.
Proposals flooded in, including one by architect, Roland Castro, who suggested building a replica of the Sydney Opera House to overlook the river at Grevilliers.
The reasoning here?
If this breakthrough creation sparked world recognition for Sydney – and in fact, for all of Australia – it would give a boring Parisian suburb a much needed injection of panache and culture. It would attract millions of people.
The copy-cat way to success.
So here’s a question about copy-cat work. How effective can you be if you don’t differentiate yourself from the rest?
Equally, how is that authentic? Could a copy be as mesmerizing as the original, a building designed to be viewd in the strong light of a sunburnt county.
But more imortantly, doesn’t this flat-line the appeal of Paris, turning it into a kind of a Las Vegas-like side-show?
For something specifically designed in the 1960s to transform Bennelong Point, overlooking Sydney Harbour, you have to wonder about this ‘me-too’ thinking.
Similarly in marketing terms, if your strategies and creative work are no different and no better than your competitors’ work that’s the definition of mediocrity.
Commonplace and unremarkable work is the lot of too many marketers these days. Maybe the need to set themselves apart hasn’t sunk in.
To that point, gut instinct says you can always do better; you can always broaden your appeal. After all, original thinking is fatal to being ordinary.
So to acquaint yourself with authenticity and difference, go to the website of architect Daniel Libeskind. http://daniel-libeskind.com
Stunning ideas await you.
You’ll see the kind of architectural realizations that abound with impact, surprise value, freshness, relevance and emotional resonance.
One tends to stare in wonder. Chances are you will too.
Had Libeskind been contracted to create an opera house in Grevilliers it would have probably become a world-class example of differentiation.
If that’s the kind of distinction you want for your brand, start by inspiring your agency to achieve more by showing them the Libeskind website.
‘Why are we looking at this?’ they might say.
Let them look and look. They’ll see more than enough brilliance and originality to answer that question for themselves.
Share your take on marketing thinking with us. How do you and your agency go about developing original strategies and creative work? Thanks, Steve Ulin