Regardless of whether you have a unique product or not, your business can greatly benefit from setting itself apart from the rest. Think about crowded industries like car insurance. Geico completely changed its level of success when they chose to not only have a gecko mascot, but to make commercials that were different than other car insurance companies. It may be hard to remember now, but when Geico first introduced the gecko in 2000, they were a significantly smaller company. Many people began talking about Geico because of their silly, comedic parodies involving various animals and cave men- which may or may not have had anything to do with insurance. Of course that didn’t matter; they were getting what they wanted: a massive influx of attention.
What is our point?
Don’t be afraid to be different. While the phrase “any publicity is good publicity” is definitely not true- it’s almost true. Getting the most attention is often done when it doesn’t appear as if the company’s direct intention is to sell something. You might be sitting there thinking, “But why did that company have a pirate in their commercial when they sell furniture?” There may be no other reason than simply getting you to think about that pirate, and in that sense, to think about their company. Be mindful of what you’re putting out there. Creativity is great, but always avoid coming across as offensive or misleading.
How can you stand out?
- The unique selling point is a marketing concept first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern in successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. The USP states that such campaigns made unique propositions to customers that convinced them to switch brands. TOMS Shoes are quirky, comfy, light and inexpensive. That alone maybe isn’t enough to make a company stand out in the shoe business. The most unique and compelling part of the TOMS Shoes story is that they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase. By giving something back, they stand out from the crowd. Not every company has the resources to be so generous, but there are other ways to be distinctive. What really counts is not how unique you are, but how unique people think you are.
- One of the major components of your brand is your logo. As the “face” of a company, logo design is critical because that simple graphic will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. A professional logo design should be simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company. Slogans and standard practices are additional ways to feature branding.
- Customer Service
- This should really be at the core of your business model. Remember not to only focus on your current customers, but remember your past, and be aware of your future. Sometimes customer service can actually be a form of branding. For example, when you walk into Moe’s Restaurant & Grill, you are expected to hear a collective “welcome to Moe’s!” from the staff. In addition to their product differences, practices like these set them apart from similar “tex-mex” locations and other to-go restaurants.
By Jodi Hahn