Entrepreneurship has given the world some of the most daring and awe inspiriting brands. Brands that have changed the fabric of humanity. Brands that have altered the way we think, live, play, and relate to one another.
Deeply profound products and services are born out of the desire to "do something different", as Steve Jobs quotes. It's the most important element in building something with impact.
Founders like you have big dreams and vision. That is why you are a founder. To bring your idea to existence, to change the world, or make someone's life better. Many of you are working so hard with earnest intentions but finding it difficult to reach the quantity of people needed to really make the impact you'd like.
In today's world, it takes much more than doing something different. In some cases, you must do something radically different.
In Seth, Godin's book "Purple Cow," he dissects the concept of what it takes to truly create a remarkable company and brand. He says,
“In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable."
Where are you "playing it safe" in your Startup?
10 Ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace:
1. Know your audience better than they know themselves.
The best companies are obsessed with understanding their audience. The most effective copy comes from mirroring back their exact words to them. Investing in understanding your people can help you sell more effectively and build long-term loyalty.
2. Pay more attention to your past users than your future ones.
Forbes says we shouldn't get lazy about client relationships because businesses have a 60 to 70% chance of selling to an existing customer while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%. That is a serious difference!
3. Take your brand too seriously.
As a company, we need to believe in something and stick to our guns. Not more than ever, we must communicate a consistent message repeatedly in order to break through the noise.
4. Humanize your business.
The human's behind your business are part of what makes it so unique. Don't hide your story or you. People want to do business with people.
5. Unlock your UPS and shout it from the rooftops.
Fight for your place in the market. Get clear on what makes you better/special and then communicate that consistently.
6. Treat everyone as if they were your mother.
Learn from companies like Zappos and create a customer-first company. This, I believe, is becoming the standard and if you miss this point, you'll get left behind.
7. Stay ahead of trends.
Know what is going on in your industry/vertical and spend time being innovative.
8. Be transparent.
Own up to your mistakes. Stay true to your mission/values and show your audience that you are.
9. Discover your Hedgehog Concept.
Think long-term. Go beyond your unique selling point (USP), and discover your hedgehog concept. Grow your business to align with your greatest purpose.
10. Don't Wing it and Wing it: Leave room for serendipity.
Make a plan, but leave room for learning and growing. Strike the balance and be vigilant of now getting thrown off course.
If you apply these 10 concepts in your business, you will be sure to stand out from the crowd. I urge you to remember, that while this isn't easy, there is always room for great ideas and businesses in any marketplace. You just need to be diligent and stick with it. Most people will give up before it gets good. Keep going. You can do it!
Take a listen!👇🏻
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Victoria is a Marketing Mentor to early-stage founders. She has built compelling brands around the globe and has worked as a marketing director across several verticals. She is passionate about helping women think BIGGER about their businesses and giving them the tools to grow. She'd love to connect on LinkedIn or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.