Branding – Is Different Really Different?

By Emilie Downs, Owner, Imago Visual & CWCC Member

What if your idea of different is the same as everyone else’s definition? Then it really wouldn’t be different anymore, would it? Wouldn’t that be sameness? We all try to get new clients the same way: cold call, present features and benefits, offer a discount. We all try to expand our businesses using the same ideas: offer a new product to gain market share, steal clients from the competition through price wars or added ‘benefits’.

When I was 5 or 6, I held some unconventional beliefs about the world. I was convinced the future was NOW. With the popularity (at least in my circle) of digital watches and velcro shoes, there was no need, no REASON I should learn to tie my shoes or tell time. Big hand, little hand—it was irrelevant. We no longer needed this archaic knowledge.

If I had started a “Future is NOW” colony, perhaps a subset of other 5 year olds would have joined me in this utopian society. Since I was too busy leading a revolt against spelling, I had to go along with conventional wisdom and learn to tie my shoes and tell time.

As adults, particularly as business owners, why do we go along with the conventional ideas of being different? Because they’re tried and true? Because they’re safe? It’s called Competitive Herding; being different in the same way that everyone else is being different.

If you want to be noticed, you need to leave the herd entirely.

Embrace the notion that business can be constructed in an entirely new way. Give some attention to a harebrained idea—even for just a moment. Reflect on the reason(s) why you started your business in the first place—your core values. Are those values still being practiced today?

If you need help defining your core values or want to brainstorm how you can truly leave the herd behind, call us. We would love to help you escape!

Emilie Downs is the owner of Imago Visual a branding company based in Denver. In her 15 years of experience, Emilie discovered business owners often have trouble conveying their exciting and unique message to customers and employees. We help our clients move beyond business categories, to telling their brand story, both verbally and visually, resulting in clarity for their businesses, employees and customers.

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