Last week, the Pink Goldfish 2.0 Book Launch Tour visited Snowbird in Utah. The ski mountain resort is not afraid of exposing itself. A recent ad campaign featured one-star reviews such as “Too Advanced” and “Disappointed.”

The trails at the mountain are difficult. Some may see that as a flaw or weakness, but it’s a badge they wear with pride.

David Rendall and I featured Snowbird in our Chapter about Exposing in Pink 2.0. The E in the FLAWSOME framework is about honesty, transparency, and authenticity. You have to be willing to reveal, instead of conceal; declare, instead of deny; disclose, instead of disguise; confide, instead of hide.

This suggestion either seems obvious or ridiculous. It’s obvious that integrity and honesty are important. Almost every company includes something along those lines as one of its core values. But very few companies actually live up to those values. Most try to please everyone.

Snowbird isn’t for everyone. They are for advanced skiers and snowboarders. They decided to highlight their negative reviews, instead of hiding them. In a print and outdoor campaign with amazing imagery, they shared reviews such as:

“We felt like our lives were in our own hands.”
—Jeremiah, Manchester NH

“Are the people who operate the grooming equipment on strike or something? Was hoping for a little more corduroy to put my skis into.”
— Elizabeth, Dallas TX

“I heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride that? Not fun!”
— Greg, Los Angeles CA

In the words of Gerald Weinberg, “If you can’t fix it, feature it.” Take pride in your unique characteristics. Emphasize them, expose them, and openly display them like Snowbird.

Sometimes a Pink Goldfish is a one-star ski resort.

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Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

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