Why You Can’t Get Your Brand To Stand Out

Your customers are in a habit of doing business with someone else. Some may be ready to jump ship, while others are practically married to that brand. In either case, you must create a very appealing brand for people to give you a shot.

The reason most businesses never get a shot with the customer is because there is no distinct reason to use them above the other options. Most businesses have no reason to exist in the marketplace. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re not the only company in the world who does (fill in the blank)

Great brands focus on distinction. (Tweet this.)

Step outside of your business for a moment and ask yourself what’s the real differentiator in your business?

You can’t be another business in a crowded marketplace that offers the same thing as everyone else. Your product may be good, but is it distinct? If you have nothing different to offer people then why do you deserve a shot at their business? You don’t.

The good news is that there is always something you can do that’s different. You just have to find it. Make a list of everything your competitors never do and then do the never. You’ll instantly be distinct and have a reason you exist in the marketplace. You’ll have a differentiator that keeps people coming back for more.

Even more good news is that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel to be different. Zappos didn’t invent great customer service. Plenty of businesses before them and after them have done a phenomenal job in this department.

What they did was make sure that their customer service was different from their competitors. They didn’t have to re-invent the wheel, they just had to focus on what was going to be their differentiating factor.

Starbucks is one of the most successful brands in the world. On the surface, they sell coffee just like everyone else. But Starbucks modeled their business on the Italian coffee culture so they could create an environment and atmosphere their customers would love.

It’s not just about the coffee for them and as a result they are different than 99% of their competitors. They didn’t re-invent the wheel. They modeled something else and focused on being distinct from their competitors.

The best way to get your brand to stand out is be deliberate from the start. Figure out what makes you different and run with it. Your distinction should impact every decision about your brand experience.

Your marketing should be centered around it. The biggest threat to your business is obscurity. If your business fits in with everyone else then it is destined to fail. Distinction is not an option.

Photo by Murat

  • http://twitter.com/joey_strawn Joey Strawn

    This is a great post with a LOT of good insights for businesses. Just because your brand is the most important thing in your world doesn’t mean everyone else on the planet gives two shakes of a honey badgers fang. 

  • http://www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com John Morgan

    Love it when you stop by and comment Joey! Especially when you do it while we’re chatting in gchat LOL. You’re spot on that no one cares about our business until we give them a reason to care. 

  • http://travisrobertson.com/ Travis Robertson

    Great post, John! I love the Starbucks example. Ask most people if SBUX has the best coffee and they’ll firmly tell you they don’t. So why do people shell out $5+ for a cup of it?


    People weren’t sitting around thinking to themselves, “I really could use a $5 cup of coffee. If only a company came along that filled this obvious void in the marketplace…”

    Instead, Starbucks exposed a need that people didn’t even realize they had – an experience around coffee that didn’t already exist in the US. That is why people pay $5 for it. The coffee is worth about $1.50 on a good day. The experience? Well that’s worth $3.50 anytime.

    Distinction gives companies a leverage point to expose a pain point the customer didn’t realize they even had.

    Again…great stuff!

  • http://www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com John Morgan

    Thanks Travis! “Distinction gives companies a leverage point to expose a pain point the customer didn’t realize they even had.” Absolutely brilliant my friend. 

  • http://twitter.com/ClockworkItOut Nathan Ranney

    Extremely useful information as always. It’s posts like this that always make me look back at the way I do things, and find the right stuff to tweak that I may have missed. 

    Thank you!

  • http://www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com John Morgan

    Thanks Nathan! We all miss stuff along the way, that’s for sure!

  • TechPlanIT

    Awesome as always.  So glad I saw you speak in Guelph On.  It was totally unexpected as I made a last minute decision to see someone else and got you as well.  Now I get to read great blog posts like this.  Keep up the good work as Im always inspired by these and get excited when a new post comes out awesome motivation for a dreary day here in southern ontario.

  • http://www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com John Morgan

    Thanks so much for that. I’m glad you got to attend that event. It was a lot of fun. I hope to make it back to Ontario again sometime. 

  • http://www.financialconflictcoach.com/ Dave-Financial Conflict Coach

    Way too much “Look At Me” instead of “Look At You”. I wonder if most business owners/managers/marketers have the skills to step back and take a look at their offerings from a neutral point of view?

  • http://www.JohnMichaelMorgan.com John Morgan

    Great question! I think they have the skills but lack the willingness to do so. As you were saying they are too focused on themselves.