How well you distinguish yourself from your competitors often determines how well you will succeed. In today’s marketplace where you are competing not only with your local rivals but global ones as well, you need to stand out from the crowd to be recognized.

Too many businesses rely on the standards of “We offer great customer service”; “We’ve got the lowest price”; and “We’re open longer to serve you.” Does this sound all too familiar? As consumers we have come to expect these as inherent from everyone we deal with so what is so different about you?

Two new and different products caught my eye this weekend and prompted me to share this concept with you. The first one is called The Melt, a chain of soup and sandwich shops in the San Francisco area.  What’s different and cool about this take-out chain? All they offer is soup and grilled-cheese sandwiches — but with a BIG twist! The very limited menu is gourmet and organic; they cater to gluten free diets without an up charge; they’ve invented a new machine to toast and melt the sandwiches at the same time; and they’ve added QR Code technology to speed up the pay-and-be-on-my-way process. On top of all that, they’ve also instituted an easy way to be socially responsible — check it out at

The other “different” product I found in the grocery store. Did you know that good old Kraft Dinner is now available in Whole Wheat and Smart Vegetable versions too? With pressure on this pantry staple (yes, some people like me actually do like KD!) from no-name knockoffs, buyer fatigue, and the newly nutritious conscious, they too had to do something radically different to maintain market share. Hopefully, for the health of the masses, they’ve hit a home run with the whole wheat version. Unfortunately, mixing some dehydrated cauliflower into the pasta dough doesn’t quite cut it as a veggie in my books so this one might not last once people start reading the label.

Today’s consumers are savvy folks with numerous options available to them. If you want to stay ahead of the pack you must be prepared to let the world know you are radically different, not just better. Dare to be innovative and best of luck on your journey to success!

For more resources on this subject check out The Purple Cow by Seth Godin and Customer Touchpoint Innovation © by Toni Newman.