How do you create a unique brand story if you sell something almost exactly like the competition?
I was watching two videos on YouTube the other day about how traditional Spanish ham is made, essentially a version of the Italian delicacy, parma ham. The first video shows a herd of round pigs grazing on acorns in a lush green field in rural Spain. Skipping the slaughter (obviously), the video goes straight to showing the lengthy curing process of the ham, starting with a liberal covering of salt, and then, after a few days, being hung to dry for a period of about two years. The video ends with someone carving a slice of ham, called iberico ham, and enjoying its flavour.
The second video also shows the making of Spanish ham, but this time it is from a different region and called serrano ham. The process is exactly the same and just as I was about to get bored and switch to something else, they asked the farmer the critical question: what makes serrano ham different to Iberico ham? I cringed, wondering how he is going to answer this? Clearly the products are exactly the same! His answer, in a calm, confident voice: “they are completely different in flavour, aroma, texture and fat content”. In fact, he says, “we are talking of two completely different things”. I was stunned. Without batting an eyelid the farmer just convinced me that his product is totally different from the competition, which appears to be exactly the same!
Can you do this with your business? With what you sell? Are you able to explain, without the slightest hesitation, why your offering is completely different from the competition, even if it appears to be exactly the same?
We often make the mistake to think too broadly, too literally, about how things can be differentiated. The slightest of changes could be significant, just as the farmer uses subtle differences in the size of the pasture, the aroma and texture to lay claim to a completely different product.
If you are in business, you simply cannot sell the same thing as someone else – even if you are. You need to scratch, and scratch until you find a point of difference. You must be able to look straight into the camera and say “our product is completely different”.
Can you explain why your product is completely different?
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