Stand Out From The Crowd.
We’ve all heard it. We’ve proclaimed it. But do we live it?
How Much Is Standing Out From The Crowd Worth To Your Business?
The Famous Shipping Confirmation Email From CD Baby
Here’s the email that helped Derek Sivers sell his company for $22 million. Time it took to write this email? 20-minutes!
Zappos Customer Service
There are a lot of stories about Zappos. They are easy to point to for their
Free shipping BOTH ways, 365-day return policy, 24/7 customer service.
But – realise they are a shoe company. Who in their right mind would think an online shoe company would work or possibly be worth $1.2 billion dollars… Many experienced investors sure didn’t.
The real stand out moments of Zappos come from the freedom employees have to WOW their customers.
The flowers they sent to a customer that didn’t to return shoes after a family members passing.
The shoes they help customers order from a competitor because they don’t have them.
And the simple fact that they’ll play along and order a pizza for you if you ask!
With stories like those guiding the employees of Zappos, they know how treat their customers. Stories like these capture the essence of their values, more than any employee manual ever could.
Googles Simple Design With Search That Actually Worked
Google was focused on search and search alone. They were a search engine… Unfortunately for Yahoo – they doubled down on what they thought worked for them in the past and added even more clutter to their page.
While Google simplified even more and absolutely dominated the market.
Facebook’s Social Network To Connect With Friends And Family
Pre-Facebook – social networks were crazy.
They were free-for-all blood baths where people didn’t use their real name, people could do whatever they wanted without regard, and the social networks that were close to cracking the code like Facebook never got the funding they deserved to innovate (RIP Friendster).
MySpace – the winner at the time threw everything at the wall to see what worked. Not a bad move as we saw Facebook make their own fair share of mistakes with innovation.
While MySpace was bought out and never cleaned up the mess they made.
Facebook stood out by using real names, innovated constantly and always cleaned up the mess.
The Simple Ad Free Social Network
Ello might not ever be a powerhouse like Facebook but it doesn’t mean it won’t be a successful social media business.
They’ve captured attention on the premise that it is an ad free social network that doesn’t sell user data to third parties – forever. Their stand out manifesto is something to admire.
‘Will it blend?’ Blender
Do you need a blender that can blend rocks, electronics and sports equipment? Of course you don’t!
Doesn’t mean you don’t want it.
Just watch the video.
Twist And Pour paint Containers
No screw driver to open the lid, no paint spillage and no pouring too much. Something so simple allows Dutch Boy Paint to stand out from the crowd and sell at a premium.
The Blogging Software For Bloggers
While Drupal and Joomla tried to be the content management system (CMS) for everyone, WordPress focused on bloggers. A very smart move as bloggers are the top communicators of the online world. Bloggers spread the message of how well WordPress works, how to use it and how to customise it. Targeting bloggers got everyones attention and gradually gained enough credibility to gain the trust of even the most visited sites in the world.
Videos From Real People
Less polished, unedited, captured in the moment type videos make YouTube what it is today. But simply being able to share anything, even if it was quickly taken down because of copyright claims made YouTube a traffic magnet.
Not getting the water-cooler television moment? No worries, just look it up on YouTube.
While other companies tried to protect their ass by having strict rules that they enforced to limit copyrighted content or just went out of business because bandwidth was so damn expensive back then, YouTube took off.
YouTube is the video sharing site for over a 1 billion people per month. And the videos that feature real people with flaws, their genuine personality and minimal edits thrive. While the polished and highly produced content from major companies ‘fail’ on YouTube.
(Don’t believe the hype that Facebook is YouTubes biggest threat…)
Have You Found Your Place That Let’s You Stand Out From The Crowd?
Business can be hard.
Finding your place in the market and actually making a meaningful profit can seem impossible.
But you know your product or service helps people. Right?
Well, there’s some good news for you.
You don’t need to be passionate or creative to thrive. You just need to find something that works. And once you find something that works… You stick to it.
The key to finding something that works?
Do something profitable that you can own in the mind of your customers. You don’t just take what is working for your competitors and copy it. That will just promote them even more – especially online.
You need to be the go to option. The only ‘right’ option for your customers.
To be the go to option, you have to be the industry leader or a category leader. That means being the first of your kind or the company that focuses relentlessly on one key factor.
Be The Leader
Volvo for instance focused on safety above everything else.
The founders relentless leadership in the safe car category standing strong even today as the company strives to eliminate all deaths in their cars by 2020.
Volvo owns ‘safety’ in the minds of customers and will buy Volvo for safety, reliability and quality. Even though the Tesla Model S Achieved the best safety rating of any car ever tested, Tesla can never own ‘safety’. They are over half a century late to that party.
Instead, Tesla owns ‘electric car’ and is the industry leader of electric cars. Maybe more accurately, premium electric car.
When you hear ‘electric car’, you think Tesla. So why would you buy an electric car from Nissan, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi or a new startup when electric car is synonymous with Tesla?
Even if you wanted to buy an electric car and Tesla was just too expensive, in most cases, you just don’t buy an electric car. People want to buy their products and services from the leaders.
And Own The Category
The Sony Walkman changed listening habits with the pocket cassette player and held a 50% market share even a decade after its release. The Sony Walkman has struggled ever since then by keeping the ‘Walkman’ name for the transition into CD, minidisc, mp3, video and even mobile phones!
Who would buy a Walkman phone?
Even though the iPod came late to the digital portable music scene, Apple explained to everyone what a digital music player actually meant with the ‘1000 songs in your pocket’ messaging.
They owned the market as the leader, not because they were the first product to market. But because they were first in the mind of consumers by explaining what the hell those gigabytes actually meant to everyday people.
Plus, they weren’t hindered by the primitive cassette tape music player connection.
Did you make the mistake of buying a digital audio player that wasn’t an iPod for your kids?
Do I Need To Be The Best?
It’s tough to make the point that you truly need to be the stand out business. Especially when we all still function mostly offline. There are many competing businesses offline that seem to be doing great after all.
You probably don’t stick to the same petrol station, restaurant or grocery chain every single time right?
But the online world is a bit different. Sure there is competition, but when you look at the numbers, the top business gets over 80% of the market or category. That doesn’t leave much opportunity for the rest.
While there are so many factors that go into keeping a single company from absolutely demolishing the competition offline – logistics, proximity, convenience, staff, scalability, and regulations etc. Online companies don’t need to worry about most of them because the best company can scale relatively cheaply and claim obvious leadership… Why would you even seek out a competitor? Even people that don’t like buying from the market leader choose a category leader online.
Why? Well, because the search results are all about the leading company. The reviews are about their product or service, the articles and interviews promote the company, the guides explain the ins-and-outs of their offer, people in your social network have shared their experiences or given a ‘like’ or ‘thumbs up’, and the YouTube videos are all talking about direct experiences with the company and what they offer.
So why would you take a gamble and choose a random company offering the same thing? Well, you just don’t.
Need to develop a strategy to help you stand out from the crowd? Book a strategy session to see if we can help you find a highly profitable stand out offer for your ideal prospects! Book a free consultation here to get started.