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Your marketing mission is to position your product, your service, and/or your organization so that you are unique, special, and different from every other Tom, Dick and Harry who offers pretty much the same thing. How do you do it?

This creates quite a problem for most of the clients that consult with me. Everyone wants to believe they are special and different and have something unique to offer, but all too often, they don’t know what makes them different, and so they don’t know how to communicate that uniqueness to others. They end up competing on price, or trying to distinguish themselves on “service” or “quality” or some other generic concept.

Sometimes the easiest way to create value is to emphasize something very ordinary but explain it in such a way that it immediately sets you apart as something special. Folgers brand coffee is my all-time favorite example. For years Folgers has branded itself as “mountain-grown.” So the average consumer believes there’s something special about Folgers coffee, since it’s grown on a mountain.

But coffee connoisseurs like myself know that all coffee is grown on mountains because that’s the only place you can get the right combination of temperature and humidity to cause coffee beans to grow. I’ve visited Costa Rica and had the benefit of drinking real coffee on a coffee plantation. Guess what? Their coffee is “mountain grown” too – and it’s a whole lot better than Folgers! But Folgers figured out a way to take something ordinary and get an advantage by making it part of their positioning strategy.

Bottom line for you: no one else has the exact combination of experience, skills, gifts, and talents that you bring to the table. Don’t be a “me too” kind of follow-the-leader business or organization. Create your own niche by clearly communicating the unique value you offer to your customers. When you really grasp this it completely eliminates all your competitors.


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