I was working with a design agency and we were discussing their brand. “What makes you stand out?” I asked. “We do brilliant design” they said. And they do, they have lots of clients who love their stuff. It’s really original.
“Great” I said. “But everyone else has brilliant design. No-one says ‘we do OK design’. It’s expected, taken as read. So, what makes you stand out?” I asked, to crestfallen looks.
And that’s the challenge today. Everyone says they do the best stuff, and many of them do because standards are very high. Everyone has access to world class systems to run their business, do their design, develop their products, market their services. Services like Basecamp, Zoho, Kashflow are available for a few pounds a month, or even for free. Best practice advice is an internet search away. Networking groups abound where you can get support, advice, coaching and mentoring. World class used to be hard to achieve, only accessible to the largest corporations. Now it’s the standard, available to all businesses.
So, when you describe your business, are you just describing what’s standard? Or are you really saying what’s different about you?
As for the design agency, they realised that what’s really different about them is the way they do business with their clients. Is it ‘world class’? Maybe. Unique, irreplaceable and invaluable? Definitely.