Has “Outside the Box” Become the New Norm?

Three little words. Like nails on a chalkboard in 2018. If ever there was a more overused phrase, we don’t think we’ve heard it. we’re pretty sure you’ll agree, and we’re being completely serious. So serious that the phrase has been banned in our office 🙂

Everyone is trying to do things that are “outside the box”, especially when it comes to marketing. Outside the box has totally become the new norm. Outside the box is now “inside the box”. we think Steve Jobs said it best way back in 1997 with “Think Different”. Which I suppose would be the same as “outside the box” but those two simple words actually make one slow right down and “Think Different”. Not outside the box. But “different”.

The dictionary defines “different” as; “not alike in character or quality; distinct in nature; dissimilar”, and “not ordinary; unusual”.

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We live outside the box. By now, it feels like just about everything has been done, so when starting a new strategic marketing plan, you kind of have to think about all of the cool things that have already been done, and piece together something brand spanking new. The nuts and bolts are all there, but they can’t go in the same old place, can’t make the same old picture, or no one will take any kind of notice of your hard work. And isn’t that the point? To get ‘them’ to notice? Not just get them (and by ‘them’ we’re talking about your prospective customer, new and not-so-new), but notice and take some kind of positive action.

What does the ‘box’ even look like anymore? We’re actively trying to leave our boot prints on the back of the guy ahead of us in the effort to ‘think outside the box’.

We recently came across a marketing campaign that actually had me taking the action that the creator meant for their audience to take. we signed up for the service that the ad was for, and when it comes to marketing, I’m a tough nut to crack. I’m admittedly a bit of a cynic (there, I said it). But this wasn’t just ‘outside the box’; it was smart. And it was funny. So smart/funny that as soon as I’d finished watching it (it was a video), we scooted right to the company website and signed up. we did exactly what they wanted me to do (and from what I hear, as well as so many others that the thing crashed their website, swamping them with orders before they were even ready). Don’t get me wrong, the product is great, and the price is definitely a part of their marketing strategy, but the smart, engaging marketing of the two made me a customer.

That’s what we’re all shooting for. Not so much “outside the box”, but SMART. Engaging. Marketing. What does your target customer need from you, to take positive action because of your marketing? Don’t think “outside the box”. Think Smart.

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