No one ever said you had to go by the book. In a world where everyone’s doing a slight variation on the same thing, you’ve got to hand it to the companies that challenge the way people do things by forging their own paths instead of taking the easy route.
These three companies went above and beyond their limitations to solve problems within their own industries and showed their peers that you don’t have to follow the rules to play the game. Here are three little ways you can subvert the system and get what you want – without doing it like everyone else.
Michael Litt, CEO of Vidyard (Kitchener, Ontario)
Problem: How do you get the attention of companies that are constantly being inundated by mountains of texts and emails?
Disruption: Use video.
“We’ve seen a massive shift in how people are communicating and accessing information online,” says VP of Marketing, Tyler Lessard.
“Video has taken over social networks. Sites like YouTube and Lynda.com are where people now go to learn, and nearly everyone is capturing and sharing video in one form or another on a regular basis. Long drawn-out emails are being replaced by more interactive social conversations using tools like Slack and engaging video messages using tools like ViewedIt.”
Litt and his team have circumvented the typical conversation route by including video messages in the otherwise normal means of communication. The result is a “talking head” style video that gives you the gist of the message without causing any “text tunnel vision.”
“Not only does video help people better articulate their message and tone, but it helps to develop empathy with the people you’re trying to connect with.It re-humanizes communication in an increasingly digital era.”
Sebastien PIerre, Founder, FFunction (Montréal, Québec)
Problem: It can be such a pain trying to run your business with outdated tools and a CMS that’s about as quick as a tortoise stuck in molasses.
Disruption: Build everything from scratch yourself.
FFunction is a jack-of-all-trades kind of company that does it all; infographics, custom dashboard, copywriting, data journalism and more. Their can-do attitude doesn’t begin or end with the client though: it’s in their DNA.
“We have a running joke at the office that only the coffee machine is not FFunction-made,” says FFunction’s founder, Sebastien PIerre.
“We use our own programming language, called Sugar. We built our own CMS for our website. We built our visualization and widget libraries. We have our own Python server, and a 3D printer. At FFunction we’re critical engineers; we believe in the value of a deep understanding of how technology works and the power of technology ownership. That is why we spend the time to create custom tools that give us the independence we need to preserve our creative freedom.”
Barb Huggett, SVP & GM of Canada for Captivate Network
Problem: How do you reach an audience that’s constantly on the go and inundated with advertisements?
Disruption: Advertise in a place no one’s ever thought of.
Straddling the line between ingenious and insane, Captivate Network decided to take their message to a place where you literally cannot escape — the elevator. Think of it like the little screen in the back of your taxicab, except in an elevator.
Captivate provides valuable information through lobby and elevator media screens to whomever takes the elevator in the buildings they’re in. “As workers stay at the office later and remain connected longer, we thought it made sense to try to help them make a more personal connection outside of the office,” says Barb Huggett, SVP Ad Sales. Sure, you can skip all the hubbub by taking the stairs, but what are you going to do look at in the 15 seconds it takes to get from the lobby to your floor?