It’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Most people sail through life trying to not draw attention to themselves, petrified of being different. To be truly successful you have to be able to put yourself out in the world in a way that draws attention to who you are and what it is that you stand for. Perhaps that’s why most don’t do it – because they are not quite sure themselves.
In episode one of the Netflix series Derry Girls, set against the backdrop of the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, the three main teenage characters head off to school on the first day of term having conspired to wear denim jackets with their uniform in an act of defiance. They meet up on their walk to school and only Clare is dressed as they had agreed.
Clare: “What’s all this? I thought we were going to be individuals this year?”
Erin: “I wanted to Clare, but my ma wouldn’t let me.
Clare: (removing her denim jacket) Well, I’m not being an individual on my own…
Right from the start of its global adventure, rather than try to blend in, Investec chose to stand out.
First it came in the form of its pay- off line: “Out of the Ordinary.”
When it announced its dual listing in London in 2001, it needed a unique brand to really stand out. The internal legends talk of a to-ing and fro-ing between agency and client and the near-capitulation of the team in finding something unique to position an outsider as a serious player in an environment that was already home to about 1000 banks of various sizes.
Executives at first balked at the idea of the zebra as being its symbol and after initially rejecting it – The zebra is hardly the first thing that leaps to mind when you are considering world-domination.
They decided to give it a chance.
It was a runaway success.
By daring to standout from the crowd, Investec demonstrated it was different from the crowd.
It just needed to be absolutely certain that its client proposition also remained different from the rest – it stands out as not being a price or product play. It doesn’t play a pricing game but delivers on service and makes sure that it delights its customers – that way you get the best recognition of all – referral.
There are plenty more lessons where those came from. Click here to learn more about Investec and its former stablemate NinetyOne.