Smart Emmanuel’s Selling Series: Your Difference Is Your Strength

Your difference is your strength. Often times, people struggle to push a brand or product because it’s a copy of a fast selling brand or product. We sometimes forget that customers are intelligent and can tell the difference between an original and a cheap copy. A copy will struggle to sell at the premium price originals charge.

A fast selling original is now the past. In order to sell and sell well, you must invent an improved version of existing products and it must be easy to spot the difference. The difference between the iPhone and other brands is easy to spot. If you use an iPhone and another phone brand, you will struggle during transitions. The difference especially from Apple is intentional. They need to be different. If they become like the others, why would customers choose them. They continue to innovate even as others copy them shamelessly. Your difference is your strength. Everyone is selling real estate but why is yours different? Everyone is making clothes but why is yours different? Everyone is doing music but why is yours different?

People fall into the meaningless difference trap. As people attempt to be different, they end up creating a difference that is meaningless to the end user. For example, your real estate is different because your houses are painted with a unique colour. This difference is meaningless to the end user. Colour is not a major game changer. A major game changer that’s more likely to be a hit in West Africa is “pay 20% and move in while you spread 80% over 10 year”. This is new, useful and very different. People will copy you once you succeed but you must continue to innovate and out-work them.

It’s hard to win a Grammy with a copy. In Nigeria, Burna Boy needed to sing something that people could dance to, sing and yet be unique. He also had to create a team others didn’t create or have. Winning a Grammy was simply a matter of time for Burna. The work is creating something different yet useful and relevant. Your useful, relevant and commercial difference is your strength. Create it and the world will reward you with loyal customers and orders. Your difference is your strength.

Written by Smart Emmanuel. Emmanuel is Africa’s leading sales and brand growth strategist and product development expert. He is CEO of The Stralution Company Limited, a sales, brand growth and product development strategy firm.

Twitter and Instagram: @iamsmartemma