Non-conformity in Business
A powerful business approach.
From early on, we are taught to conform and abide by the rules. We are predisposed to follow the path our teachers (mother, father, school teacher, etc.) have taught us to take. But breaking free of that predisposition is the best thing you can do for your business.
Conformity to rules in society keeps the world orderly and but if you want to build a business, conformity may not provide you the attention or recognition you want.
In 1905, a time where our understanding of the world was largely based on Newtonian physics, a young scientist struggled to find answers. He knew the answers were out there but instead of giving up he approached the problem from a new angle and ended up literally reinventing the laws of physics. Albert Einstein didn’t let the “laws” of the time limit his imagination.
Lady Gaga is another great example. She is a talented signer and performer that wears mirrored dresses, bubble outfits, rubber suits and lovingly names her fans her “monsters”. She does things differently than all the other artists and she isn’t afraid to take creative risks or create enemies. She owns her differences and many people are drawn to her radically different non-conformist ways.
“Conformity is that jailor of freedom and the enemy of growth” – John F. Kennedy.
Thoughtless conformity, doing something without questioning it first or because “that’s what everybody else is doing” lacks any kind of critical though... and you definitely won't stand out from the crowd.
Intentional non-conformity in a conformist sea of branding and advertising is like a bright signal flare. You can’t help but notice it. I’m not talking about the “pull your pants down” kind of non-conformity but rather the “why didn’t we think of that” kind.
A small retail store called “Little MissMatched” that sells clothing, shoes, accessories and bedding for girls, started selling mismatched socks. They sell them in packs of 3… “you get a pair and get a spare…” “Our crazy, mismatched socks add instant style and fun.”
in 2012, Thinkofthat.com wrote an article on the idea and how "Thinking unique - Intentionally Go Against the Grain" can pay off.
"One day, the three friends were joking around, talking about all of the orphaned socks plaguing their wardrobes. Why even bother wearing matching socks in the first place? they wondered.
Once the laughter came to a stop, it occured to them that they just might have a legitimate business idea on their hands. In no time, they were talking seriously about the idea of selling mismatched socks."
Retail sales went from $5 millions in retail sales in their first year (2004) to $32 million in 2008. Today, they sell more than just socks and have dozens of retails stores including a "store within a store" in places like Macy's and FAO Schwartz.
What form of non-conformity will you be implementing in your next marketing strategy?
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner