Be good and be different – but do it the right way

I’m reading Zag – a little book with the thesis that to succeed you not only need to be good – but you need to be different from everyone else that is good. It’s a nice way to look at things.

Unfortunately for author Marty Neumeier he picked one bad example – a hazard when you write any business book to be sure:

So when my local bank bought a fifty foot outdoor poster emblazoned with the tagline “Nice. Since 1878,” they’d have been better off putting their money in a savings account.

Citibank positioned their bank as the anti-bank with the tagline “Live Richly,” and headlines such as “For a guaranteed return on investment, try buying flowers

Ouch. Citibank has since hit the wall hard, and a “nice” bank is very hard to find these days – especially in the USA.

Citi’s greed-oriented slogan was always bad – not just now, but when the book was published in 2007. Who wants to bank with someone that is encouraging its customers to blow money? It’s not a good look, and it was a pointer to gaps in the values of Citibank – gaps that ultimately resulted in the collapse.

It’s a lesson we can all learn from – being different and being good is not nearly as important as doing business in the right way and for the right reasons.

Incidentally – the Zagbook website is well worth a look – a great example of book promotion. It’s missing the vital component though – the ability to interact with the author.

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
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