The Power Of Unique

STANDING OUT in a crowd.
Unique is harder but worth it. From maimages Flickr photostream.

The marketplace is extremely crowded with competitive options. If you have an idea, it can be very difficult to break through the noise. People’s attention is finite and the amount of noise is overwhelming today. If you are looking to turn your opportunity into revenue, there are typically two dilemmas to address and overcome:

  1. You are one of many. This can mean there is a category which provides a list of options for buyers. You are not unique. You may be one of several car dealers in a 20 mile radius or a yoga instructor on a list compared to thirty others. The category helps to focus what a buyer wants and establishes a credibility to the trade. However, it’s harder to be noticed and picked when you are in a lineup.
  2. You are unique. What you do may be innovative and there is not a list to capture your offering.  However, this means that generating demand becomes difficult because there is not a common category in the mind of the buyer. Thus, a lot of time, money and work has to be expended to create awareness and educate the market in order to get attention. There is no shorthand. You have to explain.

There are advantages to positioning and pursuing an opportunity in either case. On the one hand, a known market of buyers pre-exists because of market conditions or the hard work of a collective group of industry sellers to create demand. You can predict how many purchases will happen in the coming year and the game shifts to figuring out how much of the pie you will grab.

On the other hand, you have to create the demand and help people to understand you. The conversation is about you, not all the options. It’s more time consuming and there is not a prediction of what the demand will be. It’s harder work to educate and promote a new brand.

If you are one app among a gazillion, one option among dozens of competitors or just plain common, is it really worth all the conversations of comparison?

Being incomparable and going deeper into dialogue about your uniqueness builds a tribe that is wholly yours. And with that, you have a bit more staying power and relevance in a noisy world.

Given the options, which path makes sense for the game you are in?

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