Volume 11, Issue 3 - May/June 2007

IWFA Update
Becoming Remarkable

I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm. Although I am partial to historical non-fiction, I have been known to burn the midnight oil with a good mystery. But lately I have shelved all titles in favor of the modern-day business book.

Many of today’s business books read as effortlessly as a novel, but are packed with the practical tips you would expect in a textbook. To paraphrase the Oldsmobile ads of yesterday, these are not your father’s business books.

What’s Remarkable?
One of the most talked-about business books is The Big Moo by star marketer Seth Godin. Sort of. The reason I say “sort of” is because Godin wrote only a few pages. The rest of the chapters were contributed anonymously by luminaries across a number of industries. Each contribution focused on answering a single question: what does it mean to be remarkable?

What does this book—and other modern business titles, such as my new favorite, Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service, by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles—have to do with the IWFA and window film? Hopefully everything.

You see, success in today’s business climate requires more than converting prospects to customers. Today’s leaders also succeed at converting customers to advocates. And they do so by establishing themselves as being remarkable in the collective mind of the public.

Some people may think this lofty goal is reserved for companies that make a revolutionary product or provide a breakthrough service. But I recently had the good fortune of meeting with Julie Anixter—who not only contributed to The Big Moo, but also co-founded Remarkabalize, a business network that provides services based on the principles of the book—and she convinced me otherwise.

According to Anixter and the other guest authors, any company can be remarkable if it asks the right questions of itself, if it refuses to compromise, if it shifts focus from what it wants to sell to what its customers want to buy, if it imagines ways to embed surprise into seemingly mundane aspects of its business. Yes, any company can be remarkable—even those of us who make, test and install practically invisible polyester laminates.

While each of us must ask ourselves how we can help our own businesses become remarkable, we have the shared responsibility of “remarkabalizing” the window film industry. The IWFA has taken the lead. The association is reinventing our reputation from one of a manufacturing-driven industry to a provider of reliable energy and safety solutions. The association is towing all of us up-stream, allowing us to be mentioned in the same breath as replacement windows—rather than reserved as an afterthought.

But is there more we can all do? Of course there is. So I invite each of you to write to the IWFA and Window Film magazine to share your suggestions as to how we can let the world know how remarkable this industry truly is. 

Tom Niziolek is director of sales and marketing for Madico Inc. and president of the International Window Film Association (IWFA). Mr. Niziolek’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.