How to be Remarkable

Are you inviting customers to let you be remarkable?

The ever-wise marketing guru Seth Godin defines “remarkable” simply as: worthy of a remark. With your customers and clients experiencing so much “noise” and so many distractions in the world today – including that from your own competition – are you doing anything that’s worthy of a remark?

Just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of staying as a guest of the Eden Roc Renaissance Hotel while also attending a 2-day conference inside Eden Roc’s beautiful Miami, Fl. property. Within the first five minutes of arriving, I noticed that each employee was wearing aYes” ribbon just behind his or her name badge (fastened to their shirt). Essentially, this is their way of saying, “The answer is yes … now what’s the question?” It’s a small investment with a huge return – the manager shared with us that their Yes ribbon acts as a simple reminder to employees and guests alike, that this is a customer-centered culture and they intend for you to have a positive experience. And I did.

An invitation for you to prove your remarkability

While these “Yes” ribbons work to create a positive first impression, that’s just the beginning. It often becomes a conversation starter and might even lead to an invitation for a team member to be remarkable. In other words, if you make a request (perhaps something you may not have been brave enough to bother asking for, had they not been wearing the ribbon) and they find a way to fulfill it (say yes to it), you get to see them being remarkable…

Try this on:

Imagine you own a nice restaurant in an affluent city. As a restaurateur, you get all kinds of requests from your guests. They want to know if you accept reservations, if you offer children’s menus or outdoor seating. Some may want to know how flexible and accommodating you are: Can you change up the ingredients in one of your standard menu items or are you willing to accept a coupon that just expired yesterday? Such common inquiries should be easy to handle.

But what if a guest wants to share a steak with her spouse, and asks, “Can you cook half of the steak medium rare and the other half well done?” How would you respond? Would your front-line staff know exactly what to say and do in that situation?

In a situation like this, your challenge is to be remarkable and here’s why: When a guest/customer/client/patient/member/visitor makes an unusual or even seemingly bold request, chances are good that:

a) they have already asked your competitors the same question and now they’re testing you and;

b) they know their request is a little extreme.

So here’s your moment of truth. Will you (or your front-line employee) act shocked, assume it can’t be done, need to check the company policy or just be quick to say no?

Consider that by honoring even – and especially – bold requests, you’ve taken an opportunity to be regarded by your customers as remarkable. When faced with a bold or extreme customer request, most people either don’t know how to respond and act surprised/confused, or they’re just quick to say no.

You may be thinking, “Well, we can’t just say ‘yes’ to everything! We have to draw the line somewhere!” Consider this: By accommodating such (not-so-unreasonable) requests, you’ll not only be viewed as remarkable, you’ll help create a story that’s worth sharing.

Remarkable = A Story

Whether it’s free ice during a 5-day power outage, demonstrating a can-do culture with “Yes” ribbons, or an example of a caring airline employee, these stories are share-worthy because they’re remarkable … and they’re remarkable because they’re rare. Care is rare. Remember that when you and your staff are on a mission to have each and every customer feel: a) completely taken care of and b) as if you’ve thought of everything, you’ll be creating those WOW experiences that are worthy of a remark.

Your turn…

How are you and your team inviting customers and clients to let you demonstrate remarkability?


  1. Fabulous post, Steve. You tell this story in a way that no one will forget it! I followed the link to Peter Shankman’s post about the caring airline employee and acknowledged him for his story and the the big atta gal he gave to his United Airlines agent. You’re both remarkable for the service you provide your readers.

  2. Incredible post as usual Steve! I love the “yes” button example and how those little things go a long way to creating a culture of “can-do” attitudes within a company…well done!

  3. I LOVE the “yes” ribbon! I am one of those people who, on more than one occasion, will make a change to menu options. For example, “may I have the appetizer of goat cheese ravioli made larger and have it as an entree?” Certainly nothing impossible or even a big deal. I am often amazed at the response of the waitstaff — they aren’t sure, have to check with the chef, they usually don’t do that, etc. My response is always “if we can put a man on the moon, I’m sure I can get an entree size portion”. I’ll usually get what I asked for, but they certainly don’t have a YES mentality.


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