Despite it being widely discussed and agreed that the key to business and leadership success in the modern world is differentiation, it doesn’t take much of a peruse to realise the business and leadership landscape is still largely saturated in vanilla.

While the reality remains that – dependent on technological and societal advancements – there can only be a certain number of occupations in existence at any one time, positioning yourself as the true go-to brand in your industry requires you to think beyond what you do in your every day job today.

Many businesses and leaders are still attempting to differentiate themselves on trends that have largely passed or been widely integrated and are now accepted norms of their industry.

For example:

  • Real estate agents who say they are all about people and not sales targets or;
  • Lawyers who offer fixed fee services to eradicate ‘bill shock’

We must ask ourselves, what customer in the modern world would want to buy from a real estate agent (or buyers’ advocate for that matter) who cares more about filling their pockets than helping their buyer purchase the best property or seller sell for the best price? Or, what customer would buy from a lawyer who was likely to put them in serious financial stress, or potentially, bankrupt them in a world where there are alternatives?

While these are important aspects of the service you offer, and without them you would struggle to survive in the current climate, they’re certainly not truly differentiating you from the mass of others in your industry offering the same.

Why is true distinction in the market important?

The question to ask yourself before this one is, what would you ultimately like to achieve with your business and/or personal brand?

What you want to give to the world through your business and brand is entirely up to you. There are no right or wrong answers in this regard.

If you just want to build a solid business doing nothing particularly remarkable, but delivering run of the mill, good quality services to the clients you have, then outside the box distinction is going to be less important to you.

If you want to disrupt and innovate, change the world, and build a timeless brand that ultimate legacies are made from – and reap the rewards of doing so – it’s simply not possible without clear market distinction.

The latter requires you to be so compelled to get out of bed every day to achieve said legacy that you can’t imagine your work existing in any other way. It requires unconventional thinking and approaches. It also requires being prepared to approach your work in a way never widely considered before.

What about market domination?

Some of you may be sitting there reading this thinking, ‘yeah, but look at all the big brands who have made millions by dominating the market. How are they particularly remarkable?’

It’s a great question. You see, market domination alone is not a guaranteed, sure-fire way to achieve timeless success in business and leadership. Complacency in this regard can bring and has brought some of the biggest brands undone.

If we consider the fact that only 53 of the US companies on the fortune 500 list in 1955 still exist today, and arguably a couple of those are facing disruption issues of their own, it’s clear to see that being the biggest and most dominating is not the answer to long term success. When you market switches off, it switches off.

Some of the biggest brands in existence in 2018 are either so focused on competing with each other (and offering the same-same) or being totally complacent about their own success instead of focusing on truly innovating and evolving for the future that they are ripe for disruption right at this very moment. You see, consumer sentiment drives innovation. The question for you is what role you would ultimately like to play in shaping future industry.

If you want to be at the forefront of it, how you define yourself today will not be how you define yourself into the future. The key is to learn the strategies and depth of innovative thinking required to achieve your goals. If this is something you can’t wait another day to immerse yourself in, please feel free to reach out.

Shevonne Joyce teaches high calibre leaders and personal brands the secrets of how to be the true go-to brand in their industry.