The world is crowded. This goes for brands, products and services.
I am running another half marathon soon and needed running shoes. Try searching for running shoes. You will find a ton of results. What stands out? Most don’t. It’s a list of boring companies, boring brands and a bunch of technical features.
Zappos, the company that delivers happiness, is near the top, for good reason. Their story is about the owner’s passion for customer service. It comes out and lives in their culture and interaction with the market.
New Balance shares about the Minimus approach. Videos and articles on regular people who choose to keep it simple and have success avoiding injuries invites me in to something different than I hear elsewhere.
Merrell helps me think about getting outside and going barefoot. It resonates. I love the outdoors and finding ways to do cool stuff. It inspires me.
What if the shoes were swapped? The story still sticks, though they are different. The story is much of what I buy and that gets me thinking. I don’t buy right away, but I’m engaged. I keep coming back and identify with people that represent me or my dreams. Eventually, I buy the Merrell’s.
All the shoes have an upper, midsole and outsole for tread. That’s the commodity. How it’s put together, what people think and how the story is told is what makes it unique. The companies I look at all have different stories.
Your industry may not be a shoe brand. But if you are just mimicking what your competition is doing, then what gives an anonymous buyer any reason to engage? You look the same. What makes you unique is your story around your value offering. Share this with me in a powerful, compelling and consistent way and you get my attention. Get enough of my attention and I come back to engage and want more.
How are you telling your story? What is it?