How to Customize Your Commodity

Make your knowledge and content all yours, and lock down your brand’s uniqueness.

When working with clients, our goal is to take what they have and create a way to talk about it that is unique and ownable. More likely than not, there’s nothing completely new under the sun. Whether you’re offering a fitness program, yoga classes or nutrition education, chances are there are others out there doing something similar. While it’s not always an easy pill to swallow, the knowledge we all have is a commodity. The information we poses can be found in a variety of places for the most part.

The element that makes you and your fitness program, yoga classes or nutrition education is the experience you create and the delivery of that knowledge is a way that only you can deliver it.

Today, I was inspired by this video of a LSU gymnast who took her floor routine and completely flipped it upside down (ha!). She took a sport that traditionally can be routine (ha! …again) and ridged, and made it completely unique to her.

She made it hers and even created her own UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP) of sorts by adding her own personality and style.

Everything fit her from the song choices to the dance moves. Not just a little bit, but in a major way! With this one routine, she has become unforgettable. More importantly, incomparable to other gymnasts. And whether she knows it or not, she has paved the way for others to come after her and completely disrupt the mold of what a floor routine “should” look like.

Here’s what was so brilliant about her performance:

– It was memorable! Who could forget that?
– It evoked emotion. Just from watching the video I couldn’t help by cheer her on.
– Her energy was contagious and genuine. She really loves what she does!
– No other gymnast could pull that off!
– It still contained all of the traditional core elements of a floor routine. In other words, it wasn’t lacking a darn thing!

As an entrepreneur it’s very common and completely natural for us to look around at others in our industry, be drawn to (and in my case, fall in love with) the way they do things and then find ourselves doing the same thing. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. There’s nothing new under the sun. Why reinvent the wheel? If it isn’t broke…, etc. I get it and trust me, I do it. But I also challenge myself to take what may be working for someone else and make it my own. Unique. I continually ask myself “Is this really me?”

BEFORE LAUNCHING ANYTHING NEW FOR YOUR BRAND OR BUSINESS ASK YOURSELF A THESE 7 QUESTIONS WHILE YOU’RE IN THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE:

  1. Does this really represent me or am I unknowingly copying someone else’s style?
  2. How can I leverage the existing knowledge of others while tapping into my own unique background/experience?
  3. What personal story can I share in relation to the topic that will make the content more memorable?
  4. In what ways can I add my own personal stamp on this product/project? Visually, audibly or conceptually?
  5. Is there a unique twist or spin I can put on it to make it ownable to my brand?
  6. What can I add that will be unexpected in this topic area or am I just playing it safe?
  7. Will people look at this and say to themselves “That was totally _____ (enter your name)!”

A last word of caution. When you apply your unique secret sauce to what you do and make it your own, you have to be prepared for the results. The right people will fall madly in love with you and your brand, and the right people will be completely turned off by your personality. Know that while this gymnast received some of the most amazing comments and feedback on YouTube, there are those that left negative comments, gave the video a thumbs down and didn’t appreciate her “blackness”. To those people I say good riddance!

Be you. ALL of you!

 

NEEDING TO BRAINSTORM ON SOME WAYS TO MAKE WHAT YOU OFFER UNIQUE?
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Olivia Omega Wallace
Olivia Omega Wallace
Olivia is an author, speaker and branding consultant who's mission is to help develop the brands of entrepreneurs allowing them to fully walk in their life's purpose and in service of their clients. She gives creative entrepreneurs the tools needed to successfully build their brands both online and offline through branding and social media strategy, and by creating online branded experiences (also known as website development). She has over 14 years of traditional advertising, digital marketing and branding experience, and has been featured in USA Today, Entrepreneur, Business Week, People and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

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