“How Can I Stand Out in My Crowded Industry?"
Some branding experts will say your marketing focus should be on “differentiation.” What makes you different than the competition? What makes you stand out in a room full of bankers, realtors, or marketing people?
My differentiation secret? Focus on Why, not What. I wear bow ties but not to be different. I wear bow ties because I wear bow ties! I’m not doing it to be different. I’m doing it to be me.
Customers don’t choose you because you’re different (or because you wear a bow tie). Your customers didn’t look at a group of professionals similar to you and say, “Which one is different?” And if they did decide that way, they’re likely to quickly choose the next different thing that comes along. (I had a client like that. In spite of my proven successful marketing campaigns, she just wanted the next different thing.)
Customers choose you because you’re better, or at least they hope you’ll be better. They choose you because you’re YOU. That makes you different; you’re the only one.
Focus on Your “Why”, not on Your Competition
As a “differentiation” strategy, this may get you to the same place, but it’s a different thought process, one that is more positive, more engaging and more consistent for your long-term goals. If you build a strategy around your unique story of “why” you do what you do - and it will be unique - you’ll have a more powerful marketing foundation.
Yes, it’s wise to be aware of your market competitors. You should know their strengths and weaknesses. But it’s better to stay aware of your own positives and your unique reason for being. If your main focus is “being different” then you must constantly adjust as others do.
Don’t waste time comparing yourself or your business to others when you can be showing your passion (not just telling what you do) and delivering your unique professional story.
You’re already different; it’s time to show people why you’re different and better. Create your marketing strategy around your reason why, and you are guaranteed to stand out from the crowd.