This morning my wife Laura had a photo shoot with some clients in downtown Newmarket so I figured I would take Ellis, my two year old daughter to her favourite park. Just off the main strip downtown, we frequent what we have come to affectionately call the “Dinosaur Park”. We call it this because there is an extra large sand pit that has fake, concrete skeletal remains of a dinosaur in it. (Side-note: another dad visiting the park with his children this morning had on a Jurassic Park t-shirt which I think is awesome!) The kids dig out and play around this skeleton like palaeontologists excavating newly discovered remains in the badlands of Alberta.
Ellis is excited to go to any park, but when we mention going to the “Dinosaur Park” she is elated. She shouts for joy every time we just mention this park. It got me thinking, “what is so special about this place?” It has the standard fixtures that I would expect any park to have: a variety of slides, monkey bars, swings, rope ladders and teeter-totters. It is a very nice park, but what makes it our favourite park is simply the oversized dinosaur sandpit. Ellis loves sand, and this sandbox is definitely tops in her book and thus ours as a family. Much to my distain in a sense, give me a dock and a lake over the beach and the ocean any day, but this sand pit isn’t just a sand pit to my daughter, it is the “Dinosaur Park Sand Pit”. It is a different experience unto itself.
I love intentional design elements that take something rather ordinary and transform it into something bigger. One simple element has taken a rather typical park, albeit a nice one, and made it stand out over the rest. Looking at the concrete bones in the sand today, I thought to myself, how cost effective this simple addition would have been to this park. Surrounding the sand pit is tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of playground equipment, and some formed concrete steals the show.
Today I ask you a very simple question “What is your dinosaur?” What is going to separate you from the competition? What is something that is unique to your business or organization that you could leverage to create a memorable moment and make an impact? The beautiful thing is that it doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive. It shouldn’t be something copied from someone else because it should be something that uniquely fits who you and your organization/business are. How can you solve a problem that is unique to your community?
Recently I read an article in the Huffington Post about Dominos Pizza filling potholes across the United States. The pizza chain encouraged customers to nominate their cities/towns and then went around filling in potholes providing a “smooth ride home” for deliveries. They completed each pothole repair with a painted “Oh yes we did” with the Dominos Pizza logo. I LOVE this marketing campaign for a number of reasons, the two primary being that it is both unexpected and genuinely beneficial to the community at large!
What does this mean to my church/organization?
What could you add to your basic everyday marketing pieces and customer interactions that would be like the dinosaur in the sand? How can we elevate the mundane and turn something standard into something unexpected, engaging and memorable? How can you reach your target audience in a way that cuts through the clutter of advertising by adding value and making the lives of people you do and do not serve better?
We would love to help you discover your dinosaur. We would love to learn about your communities potholes and brainstorm how you can be a part of the solution. If there is anything we can do to help you with your next design, branding or production project, whether it is concepts and strategic planning or content creation, give us a shout, we would love to be of service.