Nov 14 2011


Welcome to the world’s first SMALL BIZ Alphabet Series of blog posts!



You already know that you’re different, or you’d be watching TV right now. Isn’t that so? People who enjoy being the same, work for big organizations where they can get lost in the waves instead of having  to make them, and they don’t surf blog posts about being unique because even though they are, they don’t believe they are.

You, on the other hand, are unique and know it. At various times in your life, you’ve been called weird, odd, a know-it-all, an opportunist, a hustler, a misfit, a trouble-maker, an instigator, an oddball, and one who marches to his or her own drum. You’re an entrepreneur. You own and/or run a business. You live for your idea to succeed. 

Now, what about your business? Do you think your business must be unique too? Odds are it’s not. In fact, the more unique your products or services are, the less likely your business is to survive. Investors and lenders like substantial, tangible businesses run by people with substantial, tangible, directly-related experience.

Customers are gun-shy about trying new products and services. They are also deathly afraid of buying technology that will be obsolete before they finish making payments. What does that leave? Pizza? Chickens? Cardboard? Dishwasher maintenance contracts? Delivery services?  Toothpaste? Cemetery Recycling?

Ah, so the trick isn’t necessarily (or even often) having a unique business. What then? Isn’t it more like being able to use your personal and instinctive uniqueness to design or develop or produce a unique perspective of what you have to sell? A competitive advantage? A single differential? Maybe. Maybe it’s just something that seems unique. 

It’s true, isn’t it, that uniqueness can be created with the stroke of a pen or keypad? Nike’s SWOOSH for example? And how about the 1, 2, and 3-word brandings that stick in our minds… the ones that sell?

  • 1-word example:  UNcola (for 7-Up when Coke and Pepsi were under the dark caffeine drink health destruction PR axe)
  • 2-word example:  “Got Milk?” (hard to top that message)
  • 3-word example:  “I’m Lovin’ It!” (even if you hate burgers and fries!)

In other words, BRANDING is what is responsible (my guess: 99% of the time) for UNIQUENESS. What we perceive, remember, is what we believe. Stated another way: Perceptions are facts! Does this imply that anything cute, different, or smashing, will create uniqueness which will create sales. Not a chance. Only substance succeeds.

BRANDING, then is about using unique ways to paint a picture of a business that delivers substance. And not unlike the old Marshall Mcluhan enlightenment that “The medium is the message,” could it also be that “Uniqueness is the message”? So it’s HOW we market that’s more important than what it is that we actually take to market?

Well, if these thoughts are even only partly correct, YOU have a distinct advantage in being able to present your business venture and offerings as unique, because you already are to start with. (We established that in the first sentence of this post.) And that which is unique rarely breeds that which is routine. Ask any spotted owl. 


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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open Doors

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