Everybody Else

Businesses often have a very difficult time telling potential customers – even telling themselves – how they differentiate.

There may well be something uniquely valuable in what you do – but how to get it to the surface and put it into words?

PenguinsOne simple exercise is something we can call the Everybody Else Test.

Fill in the blanks for two opposing “everybody else” phrases:

  1. Everybody else is just _____________ compared to me/us.
  2. We do _______________, pretty much like everybody else.

I was talking recently with a real estate professional, who has a unique background in home-building. I asked why this would make him valuable to me (since he was one of many real-estate professionals in that area), and he stated something along these lines: “the others are just clerks, taking people around and hoping they see something they like.”

Bingo. He’s not an order-taker, he has a much deeper level of practical expertise that goes beyond surface.

On the other hand, your company may be in, say, Public Relations. If someone asks why they should go with you as a partner, and you respond, “well, we have regular contacts with news outlets, and we do press releases, and our customers like us, and….” – you’re in trouble. If what you do (and say) is pretty much like everybody else, then you’re a commodity. Your only way to win is on price or personal attachment, both of which are tenuous threads on which to hang a business future.

Branding transcends a mere arrangement of words. It goes all the way to the taproot of a unique offering.

In a vista filled with look-alikes, you need to stand out. Your safest place in the market is to do something like nobody else.

photo credit: Liam Quinn via photopin cc


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