That’s Original: How to Create a Competitive Edge by Creating First-of-Their-Kind Ideas

pop-in-pop art-SAM HORN-2“Who says there’s nothing new under the sun?” – Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert

Do you think everything’s been said and done; there’s nothing new under the sun?

Au contraire.

There ARE original ideas, inventions, products, startups, businesses and books.

In fact, your success is directly proportionate to your ability to offer something people haven’t seen or heard before, something that pops out of its pack and motivates people to say, “Tell me more.”

Are you thinking, “Easier said than done?”

Agreed. That’s why I introduce step-by-step processes in my POP! and Got Your Attention? books that show you EXACTLY HOW to create original approaches that give your priorities a competitive edge.

Think about it. Whatever you do, you’re probably one-of-many. One of many consultants, one of many chiropractors, one of many car dealerships, one of many companies offering the same products and services as your competitors.

You don’t want to be one-of-a-many. You want to be one-of-a-kind. When you’re one-of-a-kind, you have no competition.

Are you thinking, “Okay Sam, I agree with this, but how do I do it?”

Here’s just one of my replicable POP! processes that can help you create original ideas and approaches. It’s called the Half and Half Technique.

First, I’ll share a couple of my favorite examples of people who coined Half and Half Brand Names that helped them get their priorities noticed (for all the right reasons) and then I’ll share one way you can do it. Here’s the first example.

Dr. Francine Kaufman was concerned about the numbers of children coming into L.A.’s Children’s Hospital with Type 2 Diabetes. She said, “A decade ago, this would have been so rare, it would have been written up in a medical journal. Now, such children fill my medical clinic.”

She was concerned and wanted to do something, yet there were many doctors talking about this issue. She would have blended in. When you care about a topic, idea or problem – you don’t want to blend in, you want to break out.

So, what did Dr. Francine Kaufman do? She combined the words diabetes and obesity and came up with … DIABESITY.

Boom. Not only did her original word get attention for this important issue – it helped her become the go-to-media resource, author and expert on this topic. She scaled her influence and income by coming up with a first-of-its-kind name.

A fast food restaurant that specializes in hot dogs and beer came up with a fantastic Half and Half Name… Frank ‘n Stein.   An Italian-Chinese restaurant calls itself Ciao Mein. An Indian-Hawaiian café’ named itself Taj Mahalo.

My son Tom loved a class at Virginia Tech where Professor Cole introduced students to the joys of Wagner, Verdi and Puccini. He called it Operatunity.

You may be thinking, “Okay, those are clever names. Big whoop. But I don’t want to be ‘cutesy.’ How can this help my business’s bottom line?”

Good question. Here’s the backstory of how an entire industry was transformed and revitalized because they came up with a new, disruptive approach.

About a decade ago, the scuba industry had a serious problem.  Fewer and fewer people were going scuba diving. Many dive shop operators were on the verge of bankruptcy.  So, what did they do to solve this problem?

Well, let’s use another POP! technique – the 6 P’s of Disruption - to show how you can solve a business problem and  come up with a profitable solution and original positioning that gives you a competitive edge … all at the same time.

P – Purpose: What was the Purpose of these scuba operators? They wanted to get new customers and more customers so they wouldn’t go bankrupt.

P – Person: Who is the person who has the power to buy or try what you’re offering? Here’s where it gets interesting. 15-20 years ago, when a family visited Hawaii, who made the decision about how they spent their time? Probably the mom or dad. Ten years ago, it changed. Guess who makes the decision now about how families spend their time in Hawaii? THE KIDS. Uh-oh. Kids can’t go scuba diving. No wonder the industry was struggling. The person who had the power to purchase what they were selling … couldn’t.

P – Problem: Okay, put yourself in the mental shoes of the person who has the power to buy what you’ve got. Let’s call this person Andy. Ask Andy, “What Problems do you have with my product or service?”  Andy would answer, “Well, I can’t go scuba diving because I can’t afford it. And I can’t get certified. And I’m scared to go down 100 feet. What if I drown? What if I can’t equalize my ears? And I can’t carry those heavy oxygen tanks on my back.”

All those problems are barriers to entry. And the more barriers to entry your business has, the more likely it is to go bankrupt.

P – Premise: Your Premise is, “Why does it have to be that way? What if there was a better way, a safer way, a less expensive way, a more appealing way, an easier, less risky way? What if I could make those problems go away?”

P – Process/Approach: In answering those questions, you often come up with an original Process/Approach (or program/product) that  eliminates the problems that were keeping people from trying and buying what you’re offering.

For example, Andy might say, “What if I didn’t have to carry those heavy oxygen tanks on my back? What if I could just leave them on the boat? Then, you could just run a long air hose from the oxygen tank to my snorkel mask. And then I wouldn’t have to go down 100 feet. I wouldn’t have to worry about drowning or equalizing my ears. I could go down ten feet and have fun swimming with the humuhumunukunukuapaaa’. Plus, I wouldn’t have to get certified. So I could afford it. And my whole family could go.  This would be a NEW way to enjoy the ocean without all the problems of scuba. I would happily do it then.”

P – Pop:   If you want your new entity to POP! out, it deserves a new name.  Use the Half and Half Technique to create an intriguing word that will help it attract media attention, buzz and new customers.   Let’s see, it’s half scuba and half snorkel. Take the first syllable of the first word and combine it with the second syllable of the second word and you get … SNUBA.

Tah dah. An original word and a new multi-million dollar industry that saved many mom and pop operators from bankruptcy and revitalized their business.

Want more examples of how to create original positioning and messaging that help you break out instead of blend in? Want more ways to coin original brand names, services and products that help you stand out from your crowd?

Check out my books POP! and Got Your Attention?

BTW – I’d love to hear your success stories. Please get in touch with how you’ve used these techniques to come up with your own first-of-their-kind ideas, products and services that helped you revitalize your business and bottom-line.

And if you see great examples of original business/brand/book names or titles (e.g., Movie-oke, Bratitude, Yappy Hour, Chrismukkah, Adultlescents); please send them so I can feature them in my 2015 POP! Hall of Fame.

Thanks in advance.  I look forward to hearing from you.



Sam Horn

Sam Horn

Sam Horn is the Intrigue Expert, a world-renowned author, keynote speaker and communications strategist who has coached the world’s top entrepreneurs and executives. For more about Sam, click here.

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