Get All Access for $5/mo

What You Can Learn About Branding From 'Project Runway' Putting a unique spin on your business can help you stand out from the crowd.

By Carol Tice

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In every industry, there are businesses that stand out above the crowd. Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle used its showy fish-wrapping style to turn itself into a tourist attraction. Standing out from the crowd can turn your business into a cash machine.

If you don't try to make your business stand out, you could end up lost in a sea of similar business types, without an obvious angle that makes you unique.

A recent episode of the new season of Project Runway provided a reminder of how important it is to stand out, and to go beyond what's expected.

In the "materials challenge" -- the designers are asked to make clothes out of something unusual. This time, it was candy from Dylan's Candy Bar in New York (not-coincidentally a company founded by a daughter of Ralph Lauren).

Related: Cupcake Wars, Cupcake Champions and the Magic of Brand Extensions

As you can imagine, results were mixed. Some designers had licorice peeling off their dresses and falling on the floor. Some creations were just plain ugly.

Then came a dress by contestant Ven Budhu. An award-winning Fashion Institute of Technology grad, Budhu saw the challenge not as something to survive, but as a chance to wow the judges (and the world) with something amazing.

Related: How to Stand Out Among Bigger Brands on Google

He crushed rock candy to create a stained-glass effect and created a divine short dress that looked like a piece of fine art, worthy of a museum.It was a career-making move, and he won the week's challenge. He also cemented a reputation as one of the most creative evening-gown designers around. Don't be surprised if Michelle Obama shows up in one of his dresses.

What allows an entrepreneur to take their business to the next level? It starts with confidence, and knowing who you are what your brand stands for.

Related: What 'Project Runway' Can Teach You About Business

In interviews, Budhu stated simply that he has always wanted to design couture, and that he knows his niche is evening gowns, and that he's good at it.

Then, he went out and proved it. All eyes will be on him for the rest of this season to see if he can keep exceeding expectations. But whatever happens, that stained-glass dress will be a calling card for him for years to come. He's got a thing that sets him apart and makes him unique.

What have you done to make your business stand out? Leave a comment and tell us how you're unique.

Carol Tice

Owner of Make a Living Writing

Longtime Seattle business writer Carol Tice has written for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Delta Sky and many more. She writes the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog. Her new ebook for Oberlo is Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

Top Secrets to Starting a 6-Figure Etsy Side Hustle That Earns Passive Income, According to 3 People Who Did It

Etsy remains a popular ecommerce platfrom for sellers — and can be incredibly lucrative for those who know how to use it.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Business News

Amazon Is Thinking About Charging Extra for AI Alexa

"Hey Alexa, how much are you going to cost?"

Leadership

3 Steps to Overcoming Organizational Fear of Change

It's a leader's job to ensure everyone in the company can own their expertise without fear — even when left to their own devices.

Science & Technology

The 7-Step ChatGPT Formula for Peak Productivity and Profit

With this powerful solution, you can take your productivity and profitability to new heights with ease.