If you want to stand out in your industry, don’t look, act, talk, walk, quack or bark like anyone else in your industry. The best way to stand apart from your counterparts/competition is to be completely different. Sounds easy right? Then why do so many fail?
When beginning the process of research, development and design (RD&D) of a product, many make the mistake of looking at their counterparts in the same industry to see what they are doing, what they look like, how they position their message. Well, guess what happens when they get done with their RD&D and launch their new product? It’s no different than any other product in their industry. There’s nothing that sets it apart from all the rest.
If you have a product or packaging in development, look at other industries to see what they are doing for packaging, graphic design, POP displays, messaging, warranties, market channel distribution etc. Work to understand the overall vibe of the industry and how you can incorporate these new ideas into your own products. Make sure your RD&D team understands that the expectation is to NOT be like anyone else in your competing market. Challenge them to look outside and create something fresh and new that’s never been seen. They’ll appreciate the challenge.
Here are some of the industries/niche interests I like to follow for fresh ideas:
Photography and video
Vintage outdoor sports, motorsports and luxury goods
Outdoor and athletic wear
Do you sell hot sauce or do you sell HOT SAUCE? Both accomplish the same goal, but look how the delivery of the Chop Shop Hot Sauce (below) blows anything else in the marketplace out of the water with packaging and design. This is a perfect example of setting yourself apart from all the others in your industry by incorporating fresh design and non-traditional packaging.