I had this piece from the Harvard Business Review tucked away, titled “To Win Big, It Helps to Be a Little “Nuts” by Bill Taylor, co founder of Fast Company.
In it, he describes:
. . .the best-performing stock in the United States since the “Black Monday” crash of 1987? If you said Apple or Microsoft or Walmart or Berkshire Hathaway, you’d get credit for a reasonable answer. But you’d be wrong. The best-performing stock in the United States over the last 25 years is a company that most of you, I’d be willing to guess, have never heard of — a company called Fastenal, based in the quiet town of Winona, Minnesota (population: 28,000), located on the banks of the Mississippi River 30 miles northwest of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Fastenal’s story is important to your ad agency new business program for this reason:
Fastenal has thrived because it has carved out a truly one-of-a-kind presence in its field.
And that’s what you have to do for your agency as well.
Have you heard this before?
Well, you need to hear it again, because not enough agencies are heeding the advice.
Per the article:
That’s a lesson I’ve learned over and over as I’ve studied hugely successful companies in brutally tough industries. It’s just not good enough anymore to be “pretty good” at everything. The most successful companies figure out how to become the most of something in their field — the most elegant, the most simple, the most exclusive, the most affordable, the most seamless global, the most intensely local.
Advertising a brutally tough industry? Check.
I’ve personally spoken to agency principals and heard them say, “Well, we can do anything.”
Okay, technically that could be true, but your prospective clients do not want to hear that.
For decades, so many organizations and their leaders got comfortable with strategies and practices that kept them in the “middle of the road” — that’s, in theory, where the customers were, that’s what felt safe and secure. But today, with so much change, so much pressure, so many new ways to do just about everything, the middle of the road has become the road to nowhere.
Find your position of expertise and exploit it to your benefit-and to the benefit of your prospective clients.
It’s how you will get in the door and how you will win business.