The Most Special Word in Business

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Think of:

  • McDonald's
  • Google
  • Coca-Cola
  • Disney
  • Apple
  • Nike

Contrast that with:

  • Compaq
  • Burger King
  • GM
  • Palm
  • Reebok

One set has built a special place in the minds of folks.

The other hasn't.

One set has emotionally connected their brands to the hearts of people.

The other hasn't.

One set has built competitive advantages that don't depend on features, upgrades, or pricing.

The other hasn't.

Ridiculous success comes from entrepreneurs imprinting special/permanent brands into the hearts of people.

(Equally important, it's also understanding where you cannot compete.)

If tomorrow, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Google, and McDonald's increase their prices, you'll barely notice any hitches:

  • People would still buy.
  • People would still refer their friends.
  • The brands would still thrive.

How do you be special?

Exploit your X.

  • Nike: human performance
  • Apple: emotional innovation
  • Disney: making people happy
  • Google: information to the masses
  • McDonald's: happy food

10 years from now, those brands will continue exploiting their Xs.

You won't see:

  • Google trying to compete with Apple's sex appeal
  • Nike building search engines for the masses
  • McDonald's doing music

X doesn't depend on a hot product; X lasts for eternity; diverging from X only dilutes the Special Stuff you've been constructing (and quickly destroys the meaning people will associate with your brand).

Choose an X that will keep you flowing for eternity -- and one where competitors with billions at their disposal can't compete with your X.

You'll gradually build that Special Stuff into the hearts of folks who experience your brand.

Build something special.

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Posted on March 24


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