July 19, 2016

How to stand out

I’m not an easy person to buy presents for. Three years ago on my birthday Linzi asked me where I wanted to go for dinner. Her treat.

I said I wanted to go to The Pineapple.

The Pineapple is a pub in Dorney, near Slough. The Pineapple is famous for only selling one type of food; sandwiches.

The sandwich menu covers five types of bread and over 50 filling choices. You can see the full menu here. It’s simple food done well in generous portions.

The reason I still remember The Pineapple, and the reason I still tell people about it is because they only do one thing. They don’t do steak. They don’t do pies. They only do sandwiches.

The Pineapple is pegged in my mind as ‘the sandwich pub’. I didn’t come up with that pegging by myself. They told me that was what made them unique, the very first time I went.

If you want to generate leads you have to stand out. To stand out requires uniqueness. Uniqueness does not stem from telling people about your many virtues – it stems from telling them about one.

Volvo = safety
Dominos = speed
Papa Johns = better ingredients
Wetherspoons = cheap
John Lewis = service

Are these brands good at other things? Yes, they probably are. Do they bother telling you about those other things? Not unless you ask.

You get to choose what makes you unique

Your customer only has room to label you as one thing. Like going on a first date, you get to choose what that one thing is when they first walk through the door.

Most people never choose and try instead to tell the customer about the 17 ways they are wonderful. Effectively this abdicates responsibility and leaves the customers to do their own labelling.

Once labelled it is very difficult to re-label. If The Pineapple were to introduce a line of quiches it would still be ‘the sandwich pub’ in my mind.

I am perhaps a walking example of how not to do all of this. If I had set all this out from the beginning I would be three years ahead of where I am now. I guess some of us have to learn the hard way.

So, I have a question for you. You get an email from me every day. What would you say makes me unique? What one thing?

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.