Friday, October 27, 2006

Business Burping

What on earth are ‘Business Burps’ you may be asking? It was a phrase I thought of whilst ... burping. Can you remember as a child when you first let out a burp after gulping a fizzy drink? Wasn’t it a bit exciting (as well as a little bit rude)? Weren’t your parents just a tiny bit embarrassed?

Well Business Burps are a little like this. They have the following characteristics:

  • Something unexpected happens following a period of high energy
  • There is excitement
  • There is resentment on the part of competition i.e. that’s not fair
  • There is some embarrassment on our part to exploit the situation
  • The event is likely to be totally ‘left field’

A recent example of this is Borat, the sixth most famous man in Kazakhstan. For those who are not familiar with Sacha Baron Cohen's character visit the officialwebsite. This is viral marketing at its very best. It is embarrassing, offensive to the Kazakhstan government (at first), completely unexpected and well thought out (Borat has his own website, mySpace etc) and many, if not most, people are talking about him.

So what has this got to do with ‘Business’. First of all Borat is business for his creator. Secondly his appearance is at odds with what has gone before. So if, like many businesses, Sacha Baron Cohen had adopted ‘Best Practice’ we would have just got yet another mediocre comedy film. Instead we got the product of ‘Next Practice’. Like Borat, our new business ideas must be the product of ‘Next Pratice’, a ‘Business Burp’. Not only should your idea be different, its method of delivery or production should be future looking too. So when you are next considering a strategy of innovation or business growth or ‘burping in the boardroom’ then consider
the following:

  • Is your idea unexpected (for the marketplace)?
  • Does the energy exist to see it through?
  • Does it have the impact for competitors to scream ‘its not fair’
  • Can you avoid the fear and other barriers that could stop you exploiting the situation?
  • Can this be delivered through new processes or working practices that make it even harder for competitors to copy?
  • Are you forward and outward looking?

To find out how your business can be helped to burp, contact us now.

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