As someone who has been involved in marketing and PR for longer than I’d like to admit, there is a common frustration I’ve had to deal with time and time again. It’s the frustration of dealing with companies who insist on blending in. It’s the frustration of trying to explain to a client that you don’t want to be like the competition. When the competition is zigging, you want to zag. You want to be the needle in the haystack, not the haystack.
The problem is that companies (and even professional marketers and PR types) get so caught up in chasing what’s worked in the past that they don’t think about what will work next. So, they try to play it safe and blend in with all the activity that’s going on around them. After all, you can’t get into any trouble when you blend in now, can you?
Maybe not, but you also can’t get any attention. If your company blends in with all the other companies in your niche, why would anyone pay attention to you? Why would any reporter give you coverage? Why would any customer choose you instead of one of your many competitors?
Look, I’m not saying you can’t run a somewhat successful company that blends in. Sure, there’s probably room for you to be another copycat company in your niche, but your success will absolutely have its limitations. It’s only when you decide to stand out from the crowd, when you dare to be different, that you’ll have unlimited potential for success.
So, how can you be different?
- Try to be first – You can never underestimate the power of being first. If you have an idea or product that’s new and different, you could have a huge advantage over the competition. Just look at the iPhone. It changed the industry. Now, every other cell phone manufacturer is trying to mimic what Apple did so well. Same thing with Netflix. They found a way to change the movie rental process, and it changed their industry forever.
- Find customers your competition is overlooking – Is it possible that there’s an audience for your products and services that your competitors have been overlooking? Look hard. Even the tiniest overlooked customer base could propel your company to new heights.
- Don’t act like your competitors – Above all else, you just need to be different than your competitors. Your ads and marketing materials should look and sound different than the ones your competition is putting out. Everything about your brand should stand apart from the other brands in your field. Look different. Sound different. Be disruptive.
Be honest. Has your company been busy trying to blend in?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html