The Myth of "Differentiation" + How to Truly Stand Out

photo credit:  ComePlum  | creative direction & styling by us

photo credit: ComePlum | creative direction & styling by us

Business, marketers and coaches use the word “differentiation” a lot. It means what’s that one thing that makes you different from everyone else. I recently realized that it is a total misconception and the wrong way of creating a strong positioning for a business.

People see “differentiation” as this key to unlocking all of their business potential, and the one thing that will make the unicorns of the market.

Sure, this did work years and years ago, when there were only 5 chocolate brands, 3 detergent brands, 5 types of jam. Well, not anymore.

You can’t serve everyone, and there isn’t that ONE THING that people in your market all want and don’t have now. We are highly demanding customers who just want what we want. People’s needs are very specific, and we care about very different things.

For example, if I were to ask, “Where can I get the best pasta?”, people are going to give me different answers. Some care more about the price, location, atmosphere, sauce variety, pasta variety, seating, vibe, hours, or wait time,... It all depends on who I ask and what they care about most.

So, when thinking about your positioning, instead of trying to find THE ONE differentiator for your business that will make you stand out from the rest of the entire market, focus on finding the attributes that YOUR PEOPLE care the most about, and be the best at serving them those attributes.

Here are the 3 steps to get you started and help you see your sweet spot in the market:

Step #1

Find your niche. Read more about How to Find Your Niche by clicking HERE

Step #2

Write down all the attributes that people care about when they’re looking for products or services like yours (i.e. price, speed, approachability, credibility, personalization, trendiness, timelessness, crunch vs. smooth, accessibility, sustainability, reliability, etc.)

Step #3

Circle 2 attributes that your niche cares the most about and that you can fulfill REALLY WELL. 

Here’s one more tip - don’t strive for “-er”, a.k.a, cheaper, faster, crunchier, better, etc. Today, you might be cheaper than the other guys, tomorrow you might not be. It’s a meaningless and endless race to the bottom.

Find 2 attributes and strive to be THE BEST to the people who care about these 2 attributes. Don’t simply do what others do, create something remarkable for your people.

What to know more about how to reach and engage with your people by building a strong brand on Instagram? Check out our latest release NOW - The Ultimate Instagram Guide: Instagram Marketing for Business.