Do you need to zig or zag?
Sometimes it’s important to keep up with competitors, to use the latest social media or do something so you’re not seen as ‘old-fashioned’.
But sometimes it pays to deliberately be different.
Millionaire entrepreneur James Caan says he made his money by 'zigging' when everyone else was 'zagging'.
I was reminded of this recently when the family-owned Booths supermarket chain (the North’s answer to Waitrose) announced that they are removing almost all their self-service checkouts. This was in stark contract to other supermarkets who are increasing theirs.
It’s a classic example of zigging when everyone else is zagging.
Booths explained that their customers don’t like self-service checkouts. They enjoy the personal touch and value the interactions with real people.
The response has been incredible, and very positive. There’s been an incredible amount of media coverage, across the UK and even in the Wall Street Journal - plenty of positive publicity which nicely reinforces Booth's principles of listening to customers and showing they care.
Sometimes it pays to zig when everyone else is zagging.
It doesn’t have to be anything really radical. It could be something to do with how your business looks (either the business or your image), a service you offer, a different way of doing things…
It’s not always a good idea to do the opposite to everyone else. But if you want to stand out, there are worse things you can do.