Looking for a Branding Breakthrough?
Hint: Be Different.
It’s human nature. Blend in. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t stir the pot. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
But in business, as in life, being similar to the other guy is a sure ticket to obscurity-ville.
In a sea of sameness, your business needs to stand out; to be different. You must give your target market a reason to choose you over the competition.
Take Hollywood, for example. When you think of today’s breakthrough stars—those who score the best roles and earn the biggest salaries—they are the actors and actresses who possess a unique attribute, style, voice, ability, or presence. Movies featuring your personal favorites are the ones that you CHOOSE to see; to spend your money on; to be loyal to.
It was no different in the golden age of Hollywood in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Actors and actresses needed to stand out to be noticed and be given a chance in front of the cameras.
Lon Chaney Sr. was made famous by his unique ability to transform his face through the creative and groundbreaking use of makeup as well as morphing his body in often painful and debilitating ways to get into character. He was known as The Man of a Thousand Faces. It was his calling card; his differentiator.
In fact, there was a common saying in the days when Chaney’s star made him a household name: When someone saw a spider they would often say: “Don’t step on it! It might be Lon Chaney.”
One day, the screen legend was on the Universal Studios back lot when a dejected and struggling actor, who just couldn’t seem to break through into the big time, stopped to chat. After an hour or so of conversation, Chaney advised the actor: “Find something no one else can do or is willing to do, because the secret to success in movies lies in being different that anybody else.”
The fortunate recipient of this advice was none other than Boris Karloff who went on to star in the horror classic Frankenstein and many other popular films of the day. His inimitable portrayal of the monster, terrifying and tender, gruesome yet sympathetic, blasted his star into the heavens.
What does your business do differently or better than anyone else? What are your authentic strengths and relevant attributes? Embrace them. Celebrate them.
Your difference can be your monstrous business breakthrough.