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Be Unique as a Business Culture

 “Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”

― Anna Wintour

When everyone is claiming they are “The Best,” it’s difficult to differentiate your business and stand out in your industry.

Difficult, but not impossible.

Consider big brands like Pepsi, KFC, and Zara. They have built their brand identities to command a large share of the market. As smaller businesses attempt to compete against big companies such as these, effective differentiation is one of their main challenges.

For them to compete effectively, small businesses must be seen as unique to the big companies, yet similar enough to be seen as comparable.

Be Unique

Every entrepreneur should think their business is unique—after all, that is part of being an entrepreneur.

Successful businesses always have something special about them, something that separates them from the competition, something that is riddled throughout the culture, something that everyone in the organization knows they stand for, something that you can recruit to, something that is referable, something that retains talent, something that creates organizational pride, and something everyone defends.

That something is what makes them unique. It’s the essence of leadership, and it’s the responsibility of the business’s leaders to identify it and drive it deep both within their organization and their customer base.

How to Be Unique

Here are several ideas on how to make your business unique.

Convenience – Easy in, easy out. Customers love how easy it is to buy your product or use your service. In the competitive world of pizza delivery, Domino’s chose to focus on delivering their pizzas in 30 minutes or less.

Reliability/Dependability – Your product or service never fails. According to the Bob Seger song, Chevy trucks are all tough “like a rock.”

Quality– Your product is luxurious. Your service is top notch. When customers describe your company, they speak in superlatives. BMW considers its cars to be “the ultimate driving machine.”

Superior Customer Service – You are always there for your customers. You give them peace of mind. They know they can count on you and your staff.

Creativity – Your product or service inspires people to think outside the box. Apple told customers to “think different” with pictures of brilliant minds such as Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso.

Offbeat Humor – Some companies use humor or reverse psychology as their unique selling proposition. The makers of Charmin tissue created silly commercials that showed a store manager constantly telling his customers “please don’t squeeze the Charmin,” as if the toilet tissue was so soft, people couldn’t help themselves.

Emotion – Does your product or service spark certain emotions in people? If you made a purchase from De Beers, it’s because you know that “a diamond is forever.” Delta promises that you will “love the way we fly.”

The Bible

As alluded to in the Anna Wintour quote, we are all unique.  And what makes businesses unique in their own way is that they are made of people who are all individually unique.

God created a world that’s filled with incredible diversity and variety. There are different kinds of colors, tastes, sounds, foods, scenery, animals, ideas, types of leisure… (and the list goes on and on).

But one especially intriguing area is the variety of people He has created. Everyone is different. There are no two of us alike. We are each special, each unique

King David talks about the special role that God plays in bringing us into existence in Psalm 139:13-15.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

As business leaders and entrepreneurs, we need to strive to make our businesses unique.  And, although there are many strategies to being unique, the most important way is to allow our employees to express their own uniqueness in the work they do for you.