People like me are always urging you to differentiate from your competition. So, why is it so hard to do?
I think it starts with a belief learned early in life -the one that we have learned over time – it feels safer to go with the group- don’t rock the boat. Look at any field and you will see pack mentality in the way companies in any vertical express themselves. It’s safe AND it’s boring. Worse, when everyone looks the same and too safe no one remembers anything.
As Americans we say we value individuality, but when it comes to being really different and putting ourselves out in the world in a way that is really different, we pull back.
It’s important to ask ourselves why we do this since this is the platform that all companies who have experienced extreme success use. Southwest Airlines, Coke, Zappos, etc. the list is too long to list.
We’re not in seventh grade anymore and yet when we are given the option we act like we are.
Here’s a personal example:
I was at a meeting several months ago and someone noticed my name and asked me why I didn’t call my company Power Marketing. I don’t think my reply was that diplomatic. I said: “Because it would be too boring.”
Big Shoes has a story with it and also isn’t the same as every other consultant on the block. It has play to it so if people think I have a shoe company I can say – “The shoes are for stepping into – I don’t have any to sell.” They may not remember everything but they always remember it has something to do with feet- another opportunity for humor and reminding them of what I am about.
Your brand should help you stand out, create curiosity if possible, and imprint memory. You marketing tools support that in the colors you use, the weight of your business card, and the quality of the content and services you offer. There are many ways to step out of your box and look brilliantly different. Maybe it’s time to start thinking that way….