What Sets You Apart?

May 17, 2010 | Brand Differentiation

When I am interviewing job seekers, too often I hear them state the obvious and describe themselves as smart, loyal, hard working and dedicated.  That’s nice, but how does that make them any different from the ten other candidates interviewing for the same job?

Managers expect their employees to be smart, hard working and loyal.  It’s a given.  What they really want to know is how you are different.  What experiences do you bring to the table that make you qualified for the job?  How will you make a meaningful contribution to the business?

The same goes for companies and their brands.  Quality, fair price, and customer service are not differentiators.  They’re expectations.  Customers expect the products they buy will work, and they expect a high level of customer service.  So that begs the question, what else makes you different?

What makes you different?

You can’t be all things to all people.  Take a look at your company, and really consider what it’s all about.  Your points of differentiation lie inside your business:

  1. First, what is your company qualified to do best?
  2. Second, what does your company stand for?  What are its values?
  3. Third, what is it passionate about?  What is your company working for?

Ask these questions over-and-over again.  Dig into the guts of your company, and try to figure out what makes it tick and why it serves your customers.  The more you draw out the distinct elements that drive your business, the closer you will be to what makes your brand distinct and desirable.

It takes more than words

Your customers are savvy.  We have grown up in an advertising rich world, and we have learned to be skeptical of highfalutin claims.  We know companies are vying for our attention and our money, and we take what they say with a grain salt.

As you get closer to your points of differentiation, embrace them.  Let your customers experience what makes your company distinct, memorable and remarkable.  Marketing is more than words.  What can you do to demonstrate your points of differentiation?  It’s your actions that will truly count.

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Jeremy Miller

Top 30 Brand Guru

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