Have you ever wondered what makes you stand out? What makes you, you? In today's competitive market, standing out and being unique is the difference between being a business and being a brand. If someone is faced between making a choice between picking you or a competitor... why will they pick you? It’s an honest, million dollar, age old question and often the hardest for companies and individuals to explain. Most companies say… it’s our customer service.”
Digging deeper into the subject; It is easy to talk about “what” you do. But “why” you do something makes it relatable to consumers and their beliefs. I recently watched a video from Simon Sinek as he explains this whole process from Apple’s point of view. Apple is a computer company and they sell their products using the “why” approach rather than the “what” approach. The “why” approach is what makes the product unique and stand out to the consumer. Apple really wanted to show “why” they were different than the masses, knowing once they understood the "why," the sales would follow. Competitors all have the same “what,” but to stand out, you need to let the consumer know “why” you do what you do and “why” your business is different. If any of you are Apple fans you understand what it means to be an Apple user. You’re a part of a tribe. A tribe is a group of people that believe and buy into your brand... not just your product. Your product is your brand. (Don't believe the power of brand tribes? Watch as someone places an Apple sticker on a casio watch and Apple fans go nuts over it.)
Marcus Sheridan uses the “why” approach when he was selling pools. Marcus had the same product as everyone else in a dying industry, he was selling fiberglass pools. He worked his tail off to keep his struggling business afloat. He changed his whole strategy of selling his pools and his business, by simply becoming transparent and helpful. His “why” was to be the most helpful and knowledgeable person in his industry. He blogged about the problems of a fiberglass pool and that gave his website hits, and those hits led to sales. These blogs were transparent and helped gain trust with the consumer. Those blogs were “why” his pool business stood out from other businesses. Marcus’ personal “why” was the drive to spend more time with his family and less time in the office.
During my internship with NOW Marketing Group, I have been introduced to the marketing beliefs of Seth Godin, Marcus Sheridan and Simon Sinek. Their ideals got me to thinking, what's my "why," and how can I stand out in my own way and harness my own inbound strategies?
Personally, I am a current student, attending a four-year university and will have a degree in Marketing and Business Administration. Business degrees seem to be a dime a dozen now-a-days, so even before entering the workforce, the competition is strong. The job hunt is all about finding the right fit and showing employers “why” you are a good fit for their organization. That is the “why” I am striving for. Finding a job or career is all about personal marketing, presenting yourself and standing out by throwing in your own flair, is “why” you are different and important. Being a great employee and successful family man is my “why,” what’s yours? I invite you to question what makes you, you, and "why" you are different from the rest. Your findings just might be what turns your company from a business to a brand.
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