How To Stand Out in a Crowded Niche

DSC 0562Last week I took a vacation to Sedona, AZ with my sister. We hiked all over the red rocks, browsed through the many crystal shops, ate at some terrific restaurants, went horseback riding, and took a tour with one of Sedona’s most visible brands – Pink Jeep Tours. I have to admit that we didn’t even consider using another tour operator – it was the pink Jeeps or nothing.

The point isn’t that it’s a Jeep tour – there are tons of other Jeep tour companies in Sedona. They’re all competing for the same tourist dollars by doing essentially the same thing – crowding people into a souped-up Jeep and jolting them up and down the hillsides, all while imparting some local knowledge and telling a few jokes. It’s entertaining, bone-rattling, and pretty much the same thing regardless which company you go with.

But one company stands out – and that’s because its Jeeps are painted a bright, shocking pink. There’s nothing all that special about what they offer, but they do it in a style that’s all their own. In a macho Western environment, where cowboys still wander into town, rattlesnakes watch hikers from beside the trail, and a mis-step can quickly turn you into a Saguaro pincushion, why on earth would a company choose to go with pink?  Well … because it’s different. It’s not at all what you’d expect to see and that causes people to pause for a moment and think “Hmmm, maybe I should take a closer look at that.”

In an industry where there’s not much to differentiate one business from another, sometimes something as simple as the appearance of your brand can make all the difference.

It’s not just about the customer service, product offerings, or price. Competitors can always match you on those. You might be good, but you’re not special.  But your unique look, your brand – those things are yours and yours alone.

How about your business? What’s unique to you and only you? What makes you stand out? And, more importantly, how can you look different?

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