Your company is absolutely unique. So much so that nobody else on the planet is able to do what you do.

Except, of course, that your products are so similar to the competition that people have a hard time recognizing the difference.

By the way, this tension is a universal experience. You ran into it in grade school when you were trying to fit in with the other students, while also exploring your own unique characteristics and how much you wanted to be recognized for them.

You have this challenge with steering a business. You’d love your products and services to just blow people away with their awesomeness, but … that’s fleeting. Companies copy each other’s ideas all the time, and copyrights and patents can only protect you so far.

What’s more enduring is how your company’s culture, its purpose, and its people are unique. Those are more powerful because they are much harder for someone to copy.

Let’s say that you have a shoeshine business where the workers are known for whistling and singing. Sure enough, customers start relating to you because of that unique attribute, perhaps identifying you as “the guy who always whistles” with no idea of what your company name is.

Could a competitor copy that? Sure, it’s not secret. But they probably won’t, because for them it will feel weird and uncomfortable. So you’ll be left with a unique niche – and for this kind if industry, it totally works.

This is the reason why large companies are so protective of their brand. It really does make a company more distinct and memorable.

But those of us with smaller businesses don’t have resources to go out and sue someone just because they copied the colors on the logo. Fortunately, it’s rarely necessary.

I’ve observed this myself with my Small Fish Business Coaching brand. Lots of people around northern Colorado have seen and recognize the logo, but it’s really just a hook upon which to hang the company name and message. It’s unique, but other coaches in the area have no desire to directly copy my approach.

That’s the kind of message which can help you to stand out. Building upon who you authentically are, you become fairly uncopyable.


This article was first published in InnovatioNews.

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