To survive in today’s business economy you better be willing to be creative. Anyone can make a hamburger, sell t-shirts, or provide web and email services. But McDonalds, Threadless and GoDaddy have set themselves apart from the competition by being creative. Here’s another example. We all know the airlines are struggling – with many already in bankruptcy. But Southwest continues on with profitability.
Here’s a glimpse into their creative culture. Back in 1996 Stevens Aviation threatened to sue Southwest for using the motto “Just Plane Smart.” Although Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher is a lawyer, he challenged the CEO of Stevens to an arm wrestling match to settle the issue. Kelleher lost the 2 out of 3 competition – or did he? The event created world-wide exposure for the company and is now sometimes referred to as the greatest publicity stunt ever. It created such good will for both companies that Stevens Aviation agreed to let Southwest use the slogan anyway.
What are you doing that is creative in your business? Are you just offering a good service at a fair price? That may not be enough in today’s workplace. Seth Godin says you have to do something “remarkable.” Like having a purple cow in the middle of a herd of Holsteins. Or arm wrestling your competitor.