We do funny things with words. All of us do it. Bad means bad, but it also means good. Something is radical when it’s nuanced… or when it’s really cool. So something can be both bad and radical, and somehow just mean that it’s good.
Like I said, we do funny things with words.
Most of those word confusions are innocent or even playful. But some really skew the actual definition of a word. And no misdefined word gets on my nerves more than remarkable.
You Keep Using That Word…
The Princess Bride - incredible. Mandy Patinkin - good in every role he takes. And this scene from that iconic movie is hilarious, but it also carries a tinge of my frustration. Throughout the movie, the villainous Vizzini (Wallace Shawn… also regularly brilliant) keeps referring to things as “INCONCEIVABLE!”
Man, this movie is so good… I digress.
One of our movie heroes, Inigo Montoya (Patinkin), responds to one of these inconceivable comments with a hilarious, and true quip: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think means. Effectively, Montoya is expressing his confusion over the misuse.
Trust me. Hilarious.
But what it missing from this quip is important too. As a protagonist vs. antagonist scene, it’s charming and perfect. If this were a more normal conversation, and the correction was received well, there should be a follow-up.
Well, What Does It Mean?
First, in order for something to be remarkable, it doesn’t have to be good. Something that is remarkable is not required to be positive or uplifting or encouraging… encourage is another word we grotesquely misuse. C'est la vie.
When something is truly remarkable… it’s worthy of attention. It’s striking. It’s a moment, a person, a circumstance or situation that is worth remarking about. It compels you to say something. Feel a specific way about it. Engage, almost involuntarily.
So when we say that someone’s good grades are remarkable… or that an accomplishment someone had was remarkable… or that a book or movie is remarkable - but we don’t tell anyone about it, then it is most certainly NOT remarkable. Remarkable achievements, moments, and experiences - good and bad - aren’t just noteworthy. They are lauded. Spoken about. Lamented. Made known.
When the events of September 11th, 2001 took place in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the world stopped. And now, nearly two decades later, anyone old enough to remember the events of that day, can tell you exactly where they were… who they called first… what they felt. 9/11 was remarkable, in all of the worst ways.
I was home. I sat with my housemates Joey & Cubby, stuck to the news for the rest of the day. I called my mom.
A national tragedy. The minutes after your child is born. Seeing someone narrowly avert disaster. That unexpected blessing. A truly thoughtful, knowing gift. Unexpected loss. Unexpected triumph.
All remarkable - all worth remarking about.
This is a Branding and Marketing Website
Why is this article here? What does this have to do with branding? How does this relate to marketing?
It does. Hold on.
Our businesses are our passions. We love the work we do, the services we offer, and the products that we make. And if we don’t love them, we improve them. That’s business.
But so many of us seem to live and die by Google reviews, Facebook comments, and how many stars we can amass on Amazon, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, etc.
As someone who stays on top of the search engine rankings and comments for multiple companies, I get it. And those things have their place. But I do believe that Google ratings are losing steam, and people are becoming less and less inclined to make purchasing decisions based on 1/2 stars on websites. So when you read that terrible review, or you’re lifted by that great rating, dig deeper.
Branding is Reputation - Is Your Reputation Remarkable?
And there it is. That’s the real point. In an age where business leaders solicit ratings all the time, and we can make a post asking people to comment, reviews are becoming less about authentic engagement, and more about responding to a friend’s request to leave a comment, or sometimes, just to get back at someone for a bad experience.
Consumers aren’t organically finding you by searching for your ratings. Buyers and investors will use those metrics before a purchase, for sure! But what draws people in is what has always drawn people in… A brand that is known for its excellence, popular in community because people talk about it, and growing because consumers express their trust and confidence in the work and products. Marketing should accentuate those things.
Conversely, if people use your services and buy your goods, but never talk about it, you have some issues. People don’t swarm into Chick-fil-A’s across the country because the sandwich is good, or because the competitors are bad. CFA is remarkable. People talk about it all the time. And having intrinsic, often unspoken beliefs about the way you work, the people you hire, the systems you execute, and the way you make or do your craft, well that’s just good Branding.
So the Branding/Marketing questions are simple. Do people know what you do? And more than whether or not they love you, trust you, or purchase from you… do they tell people? If you have consumers telling people about how great you are, then congratulations, you are remarkable.
If you don’t have that kind of response, or it isn’t at the level you want, that’s what Spark Business Strategies is here for. Call us. We’d love to help you become remarkable!