When Keeping It Real Hurts Your Business


I think everyone wants to believe that their brand and business are exclusive, that no other company can do what we do, that we are the one and only. Is the fixation with uniqueness necessarily true, or even helpful for companies and brands?

We all want our brand to stand out from the pack, but when handling a brand, too often it is overlooked that we still need to be seen as a part of a crowd (or our customers) to then stand out from them.

The only way we can stand out from the masses is to originally be seen as a part of that pack.

Part of the recognizing features of a brand is in its resemblances to other applicable brands. Take Pepsi for example, they sell a bubbly drink, in cans and bottles, to individuals, through various third parties, using aspiring messaging. So does their competition. Just because other brands have comparisons doesn’t mean that Pepsi should stop showing these features of the brand, as they are features that folks need to know to put Pepsi in the same ‘crowd’ as their competitors.

It is not only the points of variance that create your brand uniqueness, but also the points of similarity.

When handling a brand it is important not to become fixated with uniqueness. Not everything your company does should be unique. It can’t be. Your brand must be understood to be a part of a ‘crowd’ first and foremost – a pack that has detailed features in which folks are interested. Only once you have well-defined the crowd in which your company exists can you begin to create some level of separation, to try and stand out.

Part of what describes us is that which makes us the same as others. This is true for individuals and the same is true for companies.


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