How to Stand Out in a Crowd

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A simple trip to the grocery store will show us the overwhelming choices we face each day. When I enter the supermarket, there are more than 38,000 different items to choose from. I can choose from 10 different kinds of oatmeal alone! In most industries, brands have grown in number to mind-boggling complexity. So how do you stand out in a crowd?

Take a moment and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Can you summarize what your offering is, and why it’s a better choice than other alternatives?
  2. Can you articulate the value customers get with your offering…or are you focusing on a list of features?  (Remember, it’s about them, not you.)
  3. Do you have specific, value-oriented messages and “stories” for each audience (or are you trying to reach everyone at once)?
  4. Do you have evidence to support your claims?

I was listening to the radio the other day and the radio hosts were describing a new restaurant in San Francisco. Now, with more than 3,800 restaurants in San Francisco, it’s hard to get people’s attention.  But I think this restaurant does a great job of describing themselves:

Darn Good Food is a San Francisco eatery focused on quality “made-from-scratch” meals to meet the nutritional needs of fast-paced urban professionals and their families.
Inspired by healthy cuisines from around the world, with access to the highest quality ingredients and state-of-the-art technology, we are able to prepare “slow-food” fast and make “fast-food” healthy! There, we said it: the dreaded “F-F” word!

Darn Good Food (DGF) does a good job of communicating its value in a succinct and focused way:

  1. It’s clear who the target audience is (fast-paced urban professionals and their families).
  2. Their approach (homemade, nutritious, highest quality ingredients) is relevant and appeals to their audience’s needs.
  3. They offer something different (fast “slow-food” and healthy “fast-food”) versus alternatives, i.e., sit-down restaurant or fast food chain.
  4. Plus, we get a sense of their personality (playful, passionate) that helps us to connect emotionally.

Being able to describe your value to customers in a succinct and compelling way is at the core of your value proposition. We’ll talk about Orion’s TRUE model for value proposition development in a future blog.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons localjapantimes

Cindee Mock
Cindee specializes in value proposition/messaging development, PR-AR-social and demand generation activities; she is a published author in several outlets, including Harvard Business Review.

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