Kelford Labs Daily: Business Camouflage

Marketing is about standing out, not blending in

Kelford Labs Daily: Business Camouflage

Long-term success in marketing is a product of differentiation.

It is the art of setting yourself apart from the other options—de-commodifying yourself so that you are the obvious, most credible choice for a certain type of buyer.

And yet it can still be tempting to copy our competitors—to look at someone more successful than we are and think, “I should do what they’re doing.”

But that’s a critical mistake for two reasons:

1) Copying what your competitor is doing now won’t help because it doesn’t tell you what they did to become successful

2) It makes your company look like a poor facsimile rather than a credible expert

Basically, instead of standing out, you blend in. You paint yourself in camouflage and then wonder why nobody notices you.

Your successful competitor that gets on your nerves and keeps you up at night didn’t get where they are by pining for someone else’s success.

No, they almost certainly focused, specialized, and then grew into the giant they are today by being the most credible in their field for a certain type of customer.

We can’t just jump to the end, bypassing the path it takes to get there. We’ve got to follow our own path, one step at a time.

We’ve got to learn what makes us special, what makes our customers tick, and what value we can provide to them that they can’t get anywhere else.

If our marketing or operation can be compared, apples to apples, to someone else’s, we’re not actually marketing.

We’re putting on camouflage.

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