Original, authentic, unique—these vibrant words link back to the truth that we all want our businesses to be unique and distinct. We want to stand out from the crowd and be fully seen by our customers and target audience. We want our business to be newsworthy.
All these are solid reasons for wanting to be original. There has to be a reason why your brand stands out in the crowd. There has to be a reason your customers keep coming back because this will bring in sales and keep the business moving.
But what does it mean for your brand to be original?
Let's consider several examples. There are a lot of tech hardware companies in the world, but so far, they have yet to be able to beat Apple. They have so far recorded massive success in the technology business.
Or let's talk about Amazon. There are many online stores worldwide, but Amazon gives us a run for our money. With their excellent customer service, Amazon has become a household name in the commerce industry.
Should we talk about Netflix? Or Coca-Cola? All these companies are owned by people who have successfully done their businesses into our mind's image of originality. They have achieved stellar and mind-blowing milestones simply because they're yet to be replaced.
One way to look at originality is by understanding how customers' minds work. What may seem original to you may be different from the customer because customers are use-oriented. Yes, creating a whole new product that no one has ever conceived of before is good, and some people who new and shiny things and jump on trends will support or patronize you.
But to create a brand that stands out, you have to aim much higher. More than having a new and shiny idea is needed; you must show how your idea benefits your customers. You must prove that the product has market value; if not, you might save many valuable resources.
When we look critically, we see that most brands we love are similar to their competitors. They might need to improve in some aspects. What makes them stand out is how they have been able to own the idea and create a story from it. And because humans love stories and movement, they will willingly join you on the journey.
A different way we should look at originality is if it always means a new product and something that has never been implemented before. That's partially true.
There needs to be more proof that a new product equals success for a startup. There is so much that goes into the success of a startup, but there needs to be evidence to prove that as long as the product or service is ground-breaking, it will succeed.
The stakes are even higher for new products because there's no prior product to judge how accepting the market will be. Because of this, the product will need more intense marketing than one whose counterparts already exist. And so far as originality is concerned, the focus must be on more than just developing a new product.
The focus of your business or brand must be on giving your customers the best possible experience, solving their problems, and doing that with your unique voice because the market frowns at dubbed products and ideas much more than new products. You can't stand out, and you even run the risk of being blocked if you do what everyone else is doing and copy the ideas of others.
Every successful business has to find the balance between implementing completely new ideas and building on existing ones.
Be willing to do the underground work of finding out what makes you different and what you bring to the table, and then curate products that focus on that. Your story should drive your products because that will make people connect with you. That will make people look and say, "That company or business is my go-to for so and so." It is what will make them refer you to their family and friends.
This is why Apple is so successful. Their products' features are more distinct and the best. Still, they focus squarely on enhancing the ease of use and making their products as aesthetically pleasing as possible while bringing all the diversified features into one. That is why they are now the definition of luxury gadgets for the average person.
You can and should be original with your product, but you can still develop a new one. If you want to, then, by all means, do so. But it shouldn't be for its own sake.
It must be directed toward the customer's needs and desires while amplifying your reasons for starting the brand or startup. You must also be able to tell your brand story in a way that will convince people that your product or service is worth it.
Whether you're building a new thing or improving on something that already exists, originality will mean making it functional, giving the customer a better experience, or making it accessible to many more people.
It would be best if you had yet to have your idea in the open. Nothing can be improved upon if it's already perfect. For something to stand the test of people's short attention spans, it must be progressive and innovative. And it must do this while carrying its audience and customers along.
Remember that your business or startup is a journey and that, in the long run, some things are more important than others. Originality will mean that you continue to improve, build your brand story, and show up for your customers with your products and services, and the market will love and reward you for it.