The Art of Differentiation
Imagine you’re thinking about taking a vacation. You hop on your computer and start searching the web for ideas. You come across a website for a town you’re not familiar with, but the homepage simply says, “Discover Yourself Here!” So you move on. You come across several places that claim to be “Four Seasons of Fun!” and “Something for Everyone!” But are you intrigued? Probably not.
We’re bombarded by hundreds of advertising messages every day, and we’ve learned to tune things out if they don’t appeal to our interests or stand out from the crowd. We move on. In this age of advertising oversaturation, communities have to find a way to be known for something truly unique – they need to differentiate.
Take a look at your community’s website. What’s your slogan? Could it apply to any town? After all, everyone thinks their community is a “Great Place to Live, Work and Play.” And maybe it’s true. But how does it differentiate your community from the thousands of communities across North America all trying to build their economic base?
You have to be known for something unique, something that sets you apart. This doesn’t mean that every aspect of your community has to be the same, or that you won’t have thriving businesses that aren’t specific to your brand. But you do need to take a good look at what makes your community special and promote the heck out of it.
So what makes your community special? What makes you stand out? What do you have that you can build on? Take a good look at your website and other marketing materials and ask yourself, “Could this apply to any community? Does it really show who we are?” If not, it’s time to focus on differentiation.