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Seth Godin is fond of saying that we must make our products and our companies remarkable, but it's easier to say than to do (as Seth well knows). And I fear that some people just blow off Seth's advice, because they hear "remarkable" as just another fatuous superlative, such as "great" or "fantastic" that is bereft of its original, more specific meaning. Remarkable means something that would cause someone to remark about it. So, how do we become remarkable?

Too many people have given up on being remarkable because they believe that it's too hard. They think about a company such as Apple, with makes the quintessentially remarkable products and ask, "How could I ever do anything that remarkable?"

I'm here to tell you that you don't have to.

In fact, one way to be remarkable has nothing to do with your product, but rather your attitude. Take a direct competitor to Apple, Dell Computer. Dell has made itself remarkable in recent years, not by its products but by its behavior.

When Dell was called out by Jeff Jarvis and others for its poor customer service (the entire "Dell Hell" debacle), it responded remarkably, not by ignoring social media but by embracing it, by engaging, and by changing it s corporate culture to be much more open and responsive. That approach caused many a positive remark in the blogosphere and has culminated in Dell's IdeaStorm initiative, in which its remarkable corporate behavior is now causing its customers to bring it the ideas that might yet become the next remarkable product.

Take a page from Dell. If you don't have any remarkable products, start acting remarkably toward your customers. Your customers might start to trust you enough to help you create remarkable products.

Originally published in Biznology Blog.

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January 29, 2013

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


I think there is a commitment between the customers and the social aspect as it can help any company become remarkable.

I am always amazed about how documented are all your posts. Although it had taken me several minutes to read the whole article, I must say it is very helpful to every aspect.

I was just talking about this very topic to a co-worker recently. There are lots of people who are doing web design and web design education like us, so we're trying to figure out how we can better communicate to our customers. We're working on how we can simplify it and even make something like keyword research fun.

Too many people have given up on being remarkable because they believe that it's too hard. They think about a company such as Apple, with makes the quintessentially remarkable products and ask, "How could I ever do anything that remarkable?"

I'm here to tell you that you don't have to.

I do think that anyone can be remarkable. It depends a lot on your knowledge, determination and perception of how you see the things and wants them to be unique and valuable from your side. Building a brand, if not that impossible is also not that easy in comparisons to your competitor's. You constantly have to look for ways to improve and deliver.

Using content marketing on the Internet, you can reach the right people – people who might find your particular voice and message remarkable.

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Being "remarkable" is a little inspecific really. Just being talked about is one thing, but truly engaging is quite another. IdeaStorm as an engagement project is fantastic, but little companies can do that stuff too. It's not so hard to ask for suggestions :o) And for little companies, where it's often the boss asking - and therefore who really care about the answers - it's normally much easier to react to them too.

As with most good business advice, there's nothing new about this. Online and social developments just make it both easier and more important!


Sure, Martin, anyone can ask for suggestions, but I point out Dell because they do it really well. They not only ask for suggestions, but they get them. And they act on them. And they have made new product decisions based on them.

Apologies that this isn't new enough advice for you, but I see very few companies focused on changing the way they engage customers. I find most of them focused on starting a Facebook fan page or tweeting when they don't have much to say.

The fact that online and social make it easier and more important is why I am writing about it. If you are ahead of the game and already doing it, that's great. My post is for everyone else.

very inspiring piece of article. Thanks for sharing

Good article. Maybe more companies should focus on customer service as a way to differentiate themselves. It works for John Lewis, Amazon, etc

Having a computer repair shop in a big city is quite a challenge. The only way to compete is to be "remarkable" in customer service. Hence my slogan "Where Technology Meets Hospitality".

Good point Mike. As they say treat your customers right and they will become your best asset. As I'd read from one blog "Treating customers well is the path towards increased customer loyalty, word-of-mouth and business success." It is indeed worthy to invest in good customer service considering the tight competition in business.

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