Listen to the interview on Stever Robbins’ Get It Done Guy podcast: http://www.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy/beingdifferent
There are other people who do what you do in the world. Weird right? There’s a way to distinguish yourself, though, and it’s not necessarily by being the best
By Stever Robbins, Get-It-Done Guy
May 24, 2016
Conventional wisdom says that being better means… well, being better! But when we now live in a world where many people can be at the top of their field, there’s actually a better way of setting yourself apart.
In my interview with Gregory Diehl, author of Brand Identity Breakthrough, we learn that even better than being better, is being different. Being different is also different from being better. But what’s most important is that being different is better.
You can watch the interview here!
Find Your Unique Offering
Your competitors do the same thing you do. Or do they? You can get noticed more by showing you’re not just providing the same product in a different box. Offer something unique.
If you’re behind the scenes in a business, you probably have enough experience to know what your customers actually need. So satisfy that need in a way no one else does. Then let everyone know what your product does that your nemesis’s product does not.
Your competitors do the same thing you do. Or do they?
Dusty sells costume helmets to Live Action Role Players (those folks who run around in medieval armor and battle with foam swords). Of course, typical helmets are a dime a dozen. But Dusty knows that LARPers are often nerds, and nerds never like to be far from their technology. So Dusty’s helmets have head’s up displays and speakers. Protect your head and play Clash of Clans without the inconvenience of cords and earbuds! A unique offering stood out, and sales took off! When you make what you have different, you see results.
And that’s only the first step. There’s another, powerful way to set yourself apart.
Make Your Brand Distinct
You could pick to sell or create a product which actually is different than what the rest of the marketplace offers. But that’s difficult, and depending on what you’re selling, you may actually need to be a scientist or engineer to remake an existing thing. You don’t want to have to go back to school for an MIT rocket science degree, so make the packaging around your rocket the coolest.
Creating and image of distinction and different-not-betterness is about good imagery. A great logo. A cool color scheme. And test what you decide on- if you’re working on the internet, there are a thousand ways to use analytics and testing to actually prove whether your brand is working for your audience.
Making brand distinction is also about consistency. Once you pick a brand, stick with it. This doesn’t mean you have to be completely rigid about changing your approach. If something seems to be working better when you make a change, go that way. But if you look at logos for Coca-Cola, Ford or McDonald’s you know exactly who’s who. We would never confuse Pepsi with Coke, or McDonald’s with Burger King because they have distinct brands that they’ve stuck with since the beginning.
Dusty decided to make the company logo a really cool horse’s head, wearing armor of course. Now, all the LARPers know the horse’s head is the place to go for quality armor. By making his product, sales techniques and brand different instead of better, Dusty has set the company apart.
Live Differently to Get Ahead
If you’re selling something, changing your brand and product to be unique helps grab audiences in a new way. But what if you’re just trying to get ahead?
Deep down inside, we all want to feel unique. But even deeper, we really all desperately want to be like everyone else. And, like everyone else, we want to feel different. So if you’re trying to get ahead in life, being better is only part of the equation. Find a way to present yourself with… pizzazz.
By separating yourself from the pack, you can show people they can take you seriously, and that you’re not just another out-of-the-box drone.
If you work in an office, Your version of offering a unique product is to package yourself uniquely. To set yourself apart, go out of your way to help people in other departments, take on extra tasks (without overloading yourself) and do little favors for people that matter. You’ll become recognized not because you’re going outside your job description, but because you bring a different attitude to work altogether.
You can take this idea even broader too. If you set yourself apart with a distinct personal brand, you’ll always be recognized. Find your equivalent to the Steve Jobs Turtleneck, or the Mark Zuckerberg Grey Hoodie. I even have a friend who dresses in a full steampunk suit wherever he goes. Everyone knows who that guy is, and not necessarily because he’s the best at what he does. It’s because he stands out.
Now that Dusty knows about all the ways to stand out, personally and in business, the possibilities are endless. Dusty is different. And in this day and age, when being better is a dime a dozen, being different is the way to go. You can hear more about getting ahead through being different in my interview with Gregory Diehl, author of Brand Identity Breakthrough.