There are about 80 brands of coffee listed worldwide and 200 brands of ice cream. There are approximately 1.6 million Realtors listed in the United States alone. There are an estimated 2.7 million architects working world-wide.
If you are swimming in a field full of like-competitors, a unique name or different angle or presentation of your work or product may distinguish you amongst your peers. It could be on the cusp of a trend or something in your area that is unique. It could be based on the economic and social makeup of the community you serve. It may have to do with the age of your housing stock, the type of people moving in, a local trend occurring due to national and economic change.
If you had to name a few ice cream brands, which come to mind first? Store brands or specialty ice creameries? I think of Haagen Dazs, Ben and Jerry's, and Blue Bell. Did you know that Haagen Dazs means absolutely nothing? Actually, according to Wikipedia, the Danish owner wanted to make it: "a tribute to Denmark's exemplary treatment of its Jews during the Second World War"
But most consumers had no idea. It was new. And it was expensive. It tasted great because probably the ingredients were richer. Ben and Jerry's has a personal, homemade implication. It is a northeastern company, with many clever named flavors, while Bluebell is better known in the south. The latter implies goodness from cows. All taste great and their presentation, by name only, has connected them to a particular palate expectation.
Freeze-dried coffee?? We all know instant is convenient but ground is better tasting. Originally instant coffee was heat dried. So why freeze-dry it? In 1964 the new process was introduced and Waka was one of the first brands to distribute it. But why do it? Apparently, coffee companies wanted to distinguish their brands from others and offered this process, touting its superior taste. Hmmm...
Now, what does all this have to do with YOU? How do YOU stand out? Do you have a value-added proposition?
This deals with the concept of a niche within your industry. It is something that you do specifically, uniquely, that most others in your industry don't or cannot do as well. There are real estate firms led by attorneys, some that deal with high rise condos, others that work with divorced couples, etc. Touting your niche will definitely separate you from the pack and with proper marketing and SEO, should direct people clearly to your office.
I have been doing a few multi-generational houses of late. Should I develop a separate website even to distinguish this design specialty over others? Should I just add an extra page on my web? Should I push this specialty out into the community and region via mailers, cards, and other advertising?
Have you been selling patio homes more than any other type? Do you find yourself selling more in historic neighborhoods with traditional houses? Do you love serving a working family or retirees?
Maybe renaming your company --'rebranding' -- if you wish, to enter a more exclusive or better-known or higher-turnover market, could be in order.
What are your strengths that others cannot match? What is your distinctive background? What things do you know that others in your field do not? Do you speak multiple languages, are you comfortable working with certain ethnic groups, does your educational background include training or understanding of details and processes that are beneficial to a specific market? If you come from a medical background, then perhaps you would excel in specializing in in-home care and housing that accommodates in-place aging, etc.
Maybe you have worked for a builder in the past and can spot problems or advantages in houses that can benefit your client. Have you been in the armed forces; do you understand the specific needs of active or retired military?
Like the advent of freeze-dried coffee, can you deliver the same level of service in a unique manner that others don't? Can you make up a NEW level of service?
I thought plain Coke was great. Then bottled Coke went into cans... (they lost it there). Then diet, low cal, decaff, etc. They changed the look of their bottles, they played with their logo, they created TV ads that had to compete with other soft drinks, etc.
No matter how good or weak a product or service may be, there are always new methods of repackaging the same thing, or changing it slightly through packaging/advertising, in order to attract more people/inquiries/sales. Something to ponder...
The top image is freeze-dried ice cream made by Neapolitan Astronaut Ice Cream. You can order it online here. Around the late 60s, General Foods was selling a flake cereal with freeze-dried bananas. You had to wait until the bananas hydrated in the milk but by that time the flakes had turned to mush. Another great idea, but apparently not a lot of thinking behind it!