This post is contributed by Abhijit Rawool. He is a WordPress enthusiast who writes about how to make websites without touching a single line of code on his blog AbhijitRawool.com.
There is a small Pizza outlet in Hyderabad, India, called Over The Flames.
Yes, the pizzas are delicious at this small outlet but so are they in most other outlets in Hyderabad and all around India.
Yet, this small outlet has managed to make a name for itself in the areas surrounding the IT Hub of Hyderabad.
So what makes this small outlet stand out in the sea of other pizza outlets?
It serves only Thin Crust Pizzas!
Yes, you read that right.
At a time when pizza giants like Dominos and Pizza Hut offer a good variety of pizza bases to choose from, Over The Flames only serves Thin Crust Pizzas.
I know you are curious to know why it serves only thin crust pizzas. I was curious too and so I asked the owner.
All he said to me was, “Hey, I had to pick something to make my pizza outlet stand out from other pizza outlets and so I picked thin crust pizzas to make my outlet unique.”
Over The Flames, picked its uniqueness. It did not create one.
Isn’t that interesting?
At a time when everyone advises you to create an uniqueness for your business to stand out from the crowd, this small outlet chose to pick its uniqueness and not create it.
It picked one of its features as its uniqueness and then went nuts about it by creating all sorts of pizzas with a thin crust.
But why pick an uniqueness, can we not create it as is commonly recommended by everyone?
Why Pick An Uniqueness and Not Create It?
Let’s be honest with ourselves.
I know I am not Elon Musk to invent great Electric Cars or Space Travel.
Most likely, you are neither.
So unless you can create something that is totally unique for your products or services, I would say stick with picking one.
After all that is what most of the companies do and is proven to work well.
Don’t believe me?
Let me show you.
Examples Of Businesses That Picked Their Uniqueness, Instead of Creating It
Let’s take a look at some businesses that chose to pick an uniqueness rather than create it.
Hello! My name is Sujay and I’m CEO of Astra.
We’re on a mission to help small businesses grow online with affordable software products and the education you need to succeed.
Example 1: Apple MacBook Air – Thin
I still remember the day when I saw Steve Jobs remove MacBook Air from an envelope.
MacBook Air has lots of features, but Steve Jobs and Apple decided to highlight just one of its features – It’s Thin
Could they have not talked about the full aluminium body, the touch pad that is better than almost every other laptop, the fast processor, etc.?
Yes, they could.
Yet they chose to highlight how thin the laptop was.
They picked one of the existing features and made it the focus point of their sales and marketing.
I know you will say that it’s Apple, they can do anything and get away with it.
So let’s see an example from household goods industry.
Example 2: Tupperware – Lasts Forever
Tupperware is famous for its range of plastic kitchen products.
My wife is crazy for Tupperware’s plastic products.
It is not only my wife who is crazy for Tupperware products but many other women across India are too.
Why is this so?
It is because Tupperware products don’t break, crack or chip.
They just last forever!
This is what makes Tupperware products unique.
Tupperware could have chosen any other feature of its products, better plastic material, stylish colours, better design, etc.
But it chose just one feature, long life, and made it the uniqueness for all of its plastic products. It then went nuts about this uniqueness by giving Lifetime Guarantee on its plastic products.
Instead of creating an uniqueness, Tupperware picked one of its features and then went to crazy lengths to support that uniqueness.
Tupperware understood what Indian market wants and so did Maruti Suzuki.
Example 3: Maruti Suzuki – Fuel Efficiency
In India, Maruti Suzuki cars are well known for their fuel efficiency.
Maruti Suzuki does not market its cars as the most luxurious, fastest, stylish or anything else.
It markets its cars as fuel efficient.
This point was highlighted even more when Maruti Suzuki launched its now famous K-Series car engine because it knows that Indian market responds well to fuel efficiency.
Again a good example of picking an uniqueness and not creating one.
Okay, enough of outside world examples, let us now take a look at an example from WordPress ecosystem.
Example 4: Beaver Builder – Stability
Of all the things that Beaver Builder plugin is capable of doing, the team behind Beaver Builder always keeps mentioning how important it is for them to keep Beaver Builder stable.
Beaver Builder team knows that having a stable product might help them win the page builder race in the long run.
They picked Stability over all of their other features to focus on.
Again, they picked one feature.
Can we not do the same in our business for our products and services?
Yes we can.
I tried it and here’s what happened…
An Example of Picking Uniqueness in Web Design Industry
Indian Institute of Knowledge and Development (IIKD for short) is a small institute that teaches students how to pass various government exams.
My uncle is one of the co-founders of this institute and so when they started out looking for someone to build their business website, I was one of the candidates.
The first question that I was asked by one of the other co-founders was, “Why You?”.
I could have given them a long list of things I could do for them but all I said was, “I will make it possible for you to maintain your website on your own.”.
Do they maintain their website on their own?
No, off-course not.
But by making it clear how I was different or unique from the rest of the website developers, I was able to close the deal.
Did I say this on purpose?
Off-course not. It was a fluke, and I realized what had happened a lot later when I was talking with my Uncle.
After that, when I was looking to create uniqueness for my blog that covers how to make a website topic, I decided to go with “how to make a website without touching a single line of code” as my uniqueness.
I picked one of the things that I was already doing and decided to make it my uniqueness.
I could have chosen a target audience like photographers, designers, authors, etc. for my blog and taught them how to make a website.
But let’s face it, target audience is not uniqueness and even if you make it your uniqueness, it is difficult to stick with it.
These are just couple of examples from my life. I know you can think of many other examples.
But why should I make you think?
Instead, let me take a hypothetical example from web design industry.
A Hypothetical Example of Picking Uniqueness in Web Design Industry
Say you are a website designer who builds websites for a living.
As part of your website building process, let us say that you do activities like Pick Colours and Fonts, Create Home Page, Create About Us Page, Create Products and Services Page, etc.
Now, let us pick one of these activities and try to make it your uniqueness.
Let’s pick Creating About Us page as your uniqueness.
Here’s an example of what you can say to your clients to make them feel that About Us page is the most important page and that you are the best person to create it.
People relate with people. So it is very important that your About Us page is able to touch and move people emotionally. Only then will they trust your business. And guess what? Unlike other web designers out there, I will personally help you to write your About Us page so that you can make an instant connection with your website visitors.
Not the greatest sales pitch but I think you get the idea.
Now in the big ocean of web designers, all of a sudden you have an uniqueness.
Next time when a client refers you to someone else, guess what are they going to say?
Oh, this guy/gal is absolutely great at creating About Us pages, Look how great my one is!
Off-course you have to work very hard to make the About Us page stand out for your clients but now you have a skill that no one else has and you have also created an uniqueness for your business.
Now tell me, can you not make this work for other pages too, like the Home page, Services page, Products page, etc.?
Or make this work for other activities that you do related to website building, like setting up SEO, setting up Lead Generation, setting up Website Security, etc.?
Off-course you can!
You can just pick one activity and make it your uniqueness.
But isn’t it total madness to pick just one uniqueness? What about all the other things that you can do for your clients?
Why Pick Just One Uniqueness?
Have you seen the Avengers movie?
Yes, that movie which is based on Marvel Comic superhero characters, Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman, etc.
That movie has so many superheroes, that it will make your mind boggle, Just like all the various things that you can do for your clients.
But the main character of all these super-heroes is Captain America.
Captain America is the one who holds this entire team of superheroes together.
Of all these superheroes, only Captain America is picked to be the Captain. Rest of the superheroes revolve around Captain America.
Similarly, can’t you just pick one feature of your product or service as the Captain and make all the others a supporting cast?
I know you can.
And when you do that, suddenly your product or service stands out from the crowd.
Look around you and you will find other examples too.
Restaurants have “Dish of the Day” or “Our Speciality Dish”. Even Ice Cream parlours have “Flavour of the Month” ice-cream.
By just highlighting one Dish or one Flavour, the Restaurants and Ice-Cream Parlours are able to draw your attention to it and then sell you the other dishes and flavours.
This is the same thing that attracts many people to Over The Flames in Hyderabad.
I think you got the idea.
But hang on a second…
How do you actually pick one feature of your product or service?
How do you know it is the correct one?
What if you choose the incorrect feature as your Captain?
Let’s keep all these questions for the next post on how to pick an uniqueness for your products and services.
Watch out this space for the next post on Uniqueness.
For now let us quickly summarize what we have learnt today…
Time to Summarize…
The general advice of Creating an Uniqueness for your business is difficult to follow.
Instead, it is easy to pick just one feature for your products or service and make it the Uniqueness of your product or service.
Almost every big company from large to small does this, including Apple, so why not you?
Still have questions? Ask them in the comments below.