Owning your own moment
I peeled open a pack of Canadian stamps yesterday to reveal images featuring the Canadarm. I got to thinking about this—our national stamp featuring a marvel of Canadian innovation…attached to the U.S. space shuttle. What a metaphor! It made me think of the Avro Arrow and the F35 procurement fiasco.
A bit of an aeronautical train of thought, but do we really need to feature a Canadian invention that is so heavily associated with a larger U.S. achievement? At the end of the day, isn’t the Canadarm merely a useful appendage on another nation’s space shuttle?
The Canadian Space Agency website describes the Canadarm as ‘Canada’s most famous robotic and technological achievement’. Back in 1981 it was pretty hot stuff, to be sure. Personally, I’d love to see a ‘heritage’ stamp of the Aero, the telephone, the lightbulb, the snowmobile or the pacemaker featured. These are Canadian inventions that stand on their own. One obvious parallel to marketing is the difference between taking part in someone else’s event and creating your own.
Just think: companies pay billions to sponsor sports teams and venues, charity events, industry conferences, and the like. And it’s a good thing, because charity events in particular often wouldn’t succeed without corporate or government support. It’s also a good thing for you: while your competitors are busy trying to create brand awareness, preference and mindshare through sponsorship (which is really just choosing a direction in which to throw money), you can find a way to own the moment.
Whether it’s a conference, an open house, a customer appreciation party, a charity drive organized by you, a webinar, a seminar or a series of thought leadership articles printed in trade magazines, creating your own event, no matter how big or small you are, is almost always worth more than participating in someone else’s.