For me personally, the word traditional conjures up other words I’m really not comfortable with. Words like conformity, cliché, normal, etc. Since I can remember, and much to my Mothers’ chagrin, I have found myself searching out the more non-traditional way of doing most things. The hardship of non-traditional means taking a path not often traveled, but that is also the beauty. Going places few have seen, experiencing things others only dream about and reaping the rewards those experiences bring with them. Sure, those things can be exciting but for the wrong personality type they can bring a lot discomfort. Conversely, the word traditional often means safety and comfort to those who have no desire to explore new boundaries. And chances are your personality will be drawn to one side or the other. And just as an added bonus, a person may be traditional in one area and non-traditional in another – so now you’re really confused! In our world of marketing, we see this split personality play out with local businesses every day. On one hand, savvy business owners look for non-traditional ways to run their business so they stand out from their competitors. Or, maybe they were even lucky enough to stumble upon a completely new idea or service to offer the public. They search for innovative ways to do business so people remember them. And people remember them because the experience is unique and non-traditional. It surprises them and rewards their palate with a new taste. On the other hand, when it comes to telling their story through marketing – the same savvy business owner suddenly develops a split personality and becomes traditional. They do this because they fear being TOO different and gravitate to what’s safe and comfortable.  Unfortunately, a safe and comfortable approach surprises no one, and goes unnoticed.  It doesn’t stimulate curiosity or wake up the senses. Yes, it’s much easier to be traditional and say all the cliché yadda-yadda stuff that every other business is saying, but why would you want to? Didn’t you go into business for yourself because you felt you had a better or different way of doing things? Why not be different in how you tell people about what you do? Even personalities that are 100% traditional in most every aspect are going to be affected by a non-traditional message. They might not like it, but they will remember it.  So I say go non-traditional. At Viamark we are – and it works! Plus, what was traditional 10 years ago may not be today, so be willing to change. Your message is the most important part of any campaign. Can you afford to blend into the crowd? I bet not. Follow Mr. Frosts’ advice and take The Road Not Taken – it made all the difference for him and my guess is the scenery is much better. Chris Hoffman Viamark Advertising – Asheville, NC