Does Your Brand Differentiate You From the Competition?

One of the most important functions of a personal brand is to differentiate yourself from the competition. In other words, the goal is to put yourself in a different category than the competitors in your market. If you are successful, you will have no trouble bringing in new business—and you will be able to charge premium rates. It’s the simple concept of supply and demand. If you are one of fifty generic service providers in your market, you’re going to have to fight hard for new business—and you’ll have to charge the same as everyone else. On the other hand, if you can establish yourself as unique, you don’t have to worry about the competition—because they don’t offer what you offer.

This is where a powerful personal brand comes in to play. The first step, of course, is identifying the traits or attributes that make you different to begin with. For some of you, it’s your years of experience in your field that have now translated into superior knowledge and understanding. For others, it may be a revolutionary new product or service that provides benefits that none of your competitors can match. And for others it could be personality—in many industries, such as the legal, dental, or medical industry, an attractive personality alone can be enough to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Once you have identified your points of differentiation, the next step is to ensure that you are communicating them. Below are three ways to do that.

1) Incorporate your points of differentiation into your business name, identity, or tagline. The more prominent you can make your points of differentiation, the better. It can be something as simple as “Orlando’s most experienced tax specialist”—the point is simply to expose your audience to this message over and over again.

2) Write about what makes you different. Whether it is writing and publishing a book, or publishing articles in leading newspapers, or simply blogging—writing frequently about your points of differentiation is important. Of course, it can’t be blatantly self serving… a blog titled “This is why I am better than the competition” will not have the desired effect. Focus instead on sharing stories and advice that reflect your experience and your unique abilities. Let your readers connect the dots for themselves.

3) Don’t let the competition change your message. One of the challenging parts about differentiating yourself from the competition is that it can be uncomfortable. When you see most of your competitors communicating the same message, it can be tempting to do the same. Stick to your guns—understand what makes you different and do not be afraid to shout it from the mountain tops. Standing out from the crowd can be intimidating—but it’s also the key to building a world-class business.

A personal brand that effectively differentiates you from the competition is invaluable. It’s your ticket to building the business of your dreams. How will your personal brand set you apart from your competition?