I have been working on a new business venture for a bit now. Yesterday while at the park with a girlfriend, another mother came up to us as we were about to leave and handed us a flyer for her company.
You guessed it: She does something similar to what I want to do.
Now, at first my heart stopped. I hate competition (kind of funny for someone in business, right?) as it always deflates me a little at first.
Then, as I processed her brochure once I got home, I realized that our business ideas were actually quite different, and that in order for me to make mine work I had to realize what it was that was different about mine than hers and focus on those points.
It’s not that my business idea is absolutely new. In fact, there are two other national companies that do what I want to do. They focus on different aspects of what I want to do, though. They offer different services. So, in the beginning phases of planning out this company I had to determine what it was that I wanted mine to do that would be different from what was already available.
Now, it’s time to brand my idea to show everyone else what it is that makes it different from these other two – and now three – and possibly ten – companies.
It’s funny that I ran across this article last night after being handed that brochure. The article talks about the difference between branding, advertising, and marketing. Often these terms are used interchangeably. We say we need to advertise our company when in fact we need to market what we have. We say we need a brand, but we think the brand has to do with advertising. The brand, in fact, is building a unique personality for your company. How does it differ from those other companies? It does or you wouldn’t have started it, right? If it were the same as the business next door, why would you have invested so much blood, sweat and tears in getting it running?
You know what sets your business aside: Now it is time to let everyone else know what sets it apart. Create a unique personality for your company so that the next time you hand out a business brochure the person you hand it to knows why your company is different from the others in town.