Be The Needle Not The Haystack
In branding, marketing and in sales the goal is to create a compelling message the separates us from the competition. I think most people accept this concept! Why then do most businesses that are highly competitive arenas such as recruitment or estate agents all look and act exactly the same?
Most industries, in fact, behave entire homogenous and present a cookie cutter, boring, and virtually identical brand image, pricing strategy and business model to every one else?
Why does everyone look the same, market the same and sell the same? 
Part of the reason is that many players just don’t have the creativity to define their own approach and so they just copy the market leader. The problem with following the marketing leader, however, is that you are always five years behind. By the time a new idea arrives the market leader is already working on their next idea.Being a copy cat will always keep you far behind the leader.
When selling the very worse thing is a commodity – how can you differentiate yourself when you look and act the same way as everyone else?
Don’t be the haystack – be the needle! Be what everyone is looking for don’t be the background noise! Be different, price different, sell different and win!
When I first started selling I sold artist materials. I called on retail owners and buyers. At the time, among other brands, I pioneered a range of artist’s acrylics called Liquitex. Liquitex had a fraction on the market share. The literature stated that it had a smooth, buttery texture that artists loved. My sales presentation consisted of taking a tube of colour that retailed for about £8 and squeezing the entire tube out over a sheet of watercolour paper. I then handed the buyer a plastic painting knife and asked them to experience the texture. Buyers told me that in decades of buying artist materials nobody had every opened a tube of colour in front of them. In three years the brand was the number one acrylic paint virtually owning the market.

Since that experience I have always looked to create presentations that were new and different. I want prospects to think, ‘this company is different, they seem to understand this business better than most – I’m impressed!’ That is always the goal in selling – a compelling message! How can the same message ever be compelling?

Being different works! Be the needle not the haystack!