May 16, 2018

Do You Stand Out?

by Lorrie Lee in Brand in the Box, Stand Out

What is your 10X factor over your competition? Every industry has a bottleneck – how do you solve that bottleneck in ways others don’t or can’t? How do you stand out against the competition? Why should customers choose your company over the competition?

Here are 4 tips that can help your company stand out against the competition:

  1. Share your Story. Every company has a unique story to tell. By sharing this story, customers connect with your business on a more personal level. A compelling story can help them to identify not only what you sell but also why you sell.
  2. Connect with Customers. There is no better way to understand what customers want than by asking them. Talking with customers will help you recognize what your customers are looking for and how to provide solutions for their needs.
  3. Tell the Truth. Strong brands are clear and authentic about what they represent. If you don’t tell the truth, someone else will tell it for you.
  4. Discover your X-factor. Your X-factor in business is what makes you distinct from your competition. It’s what makes a prospect choose your product or service over another. It translates into many forms – a brand promise, a value proposition, a positioning statement, a tagline or even your secret sauce.

The secret to gaining distinction is to influence prospects by being who you are, operating from a foundation based on purpose, and working from a position of confidence about what difference you can make in people’s lives. How can you accomplish this?

When Lorrie and I were children, each morning our mother would lay out our clothes on a green “pleather” chair in our living room. You know those plastic leather chairs that were popular back in the 70s? The ones that if you fell asleep on them, your face would stick to the fake leather? Well, each morning we’d get up and get dressed for school and our outfits for the day would be sitting on that green chair and always they were exactly alike.

I never could figure out why she dressed us the same. But as a result, most people knew us as the “little twins.” I guess it was considered cute. They would say, “Look, there go the little twins.” They didn’t even know our names, only that we were twins.

Our grandmother made most of our clothes, so maybe it was easier to simply make two sets of everything rather than sewing separate things for the two of us. Maybe they didn’t want to show any preference for either one by picking out different clothes. Maybe it was their way of emphasizing the special relationship that twins share. I’m not sure, but I can say with certainty that it makes it very hard to stand out and be noticed as an individual when you always look exactly like somebody else.

I didn’t think about it much until I was almost 13. Around that time, I remember clearly that looking and being different from my twin sister was just about the most important thing in my world. I wanted to be seen as a separate and distinct person. And when you’ve been one-half of the little twins for 13 years, you have to make some pretty dramatic changes to alter that perception.

So that’s what I did. I dressed as differently as I could, which back in those days meant I wore black a lot. I cut my hair differently, I hung out with other people who were trying to be different, too—artists, musicians and other experimental types who for one reason or another were trying to find their own identities. What I found was that most of what I did to be different was external. I was trading being part of one group (the twins) with being part of another, larger group (creative types).

Most of us want to be recognized for our differences—the unique qualities that make us special and help us stand out from everyone else. It took me many years of trying to be something or someone else before I learned the important truth that the shortest course to being different is to be more of who I am.

Identifying the characteristics that distinguish a company from its competitors has never been more essential for success than it is now. The Internet and global media have drawn every industry in to international focus. With these changes come expanded opportunities as well as expanded exposure. If a company does not tell its own story, someone else will create it for them.

In the process of standing out, you learn to define and communicate your purpose (who you are) and what you stand for. And you make your purpose a focus of your marketing efforts and messaging (what you do). Next you explore your brand personality to find out which parts best represent the strengths and memorable qualities of the main character of your brand story (your company). All of these steps can establish and direct how your business can become noticed, remembered and distinguished in the marketplace.

Are you looking for a tool to help you discover what makes your company stand out?

Meet BrandintheBox®. It’s like having a CMO delivered straight to your doorstep. BrandintheBox® is a monthly subscription brand kit developed by TwinEngine to grow your brand and business by empowering your team through actionable tools and guides. You may have a solid business strategy and plan, an excellent product or service, talented and dedicated employees and a rockstar sales and marketing team—you may be doing all these things right—but if you don’t stand out, you lose. BrandintheBox® offers a clear and structured approach to mastering how to stand out, be remembered, and become a trusted and preferred choice of customers and prospects. BrandintheBox® does this by focusing on the eight fundamental areas of a brand: purpose, reputation, visuality, authenticity, ideal leads, distinction, strategy and mindset.

Grow your Brand and Grow your Business. Subscribe today!

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