This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Your Differentiators Suck. Follow These 5 Steps to Stand Out From Your Competition. If you believe your organization is unique because you focus on quality, service or customer success, be prepared to have your marketing messages ignored.

By Andrea Olson

Key Takeaways

  • Differentiation is about positioning you so that customers perceive you in a certain way — a clear, unique, and compelling way.
  • Even though it may feel safe to follow the herd, by blending in, you lose the ability to stand out — and in the end, that's what matters most.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Every company tries to stand out from the competition. We tout our differentiators and push them across all of our presentations and marketing messages. Yet, more often than not, these differentiators are simply not different. For instance, take this example from a major advertising agency's website:

"We are trailblazers in our field and have worked directly with some of the industry's top companies. Our focus is the client. Our goal is to help you achieve success. Our people are some of the best you'll find working in the industry today."

While all these points may be true, they surely don't stand out. One would be hard-pressed to identify what company this is, and that's the problem. Too many organizations focus on building the proverbial tick-list of differentiators they believe they must communicate, and not enough time on what their customers actually care about and what truly makes their organization unique.