15 Entrepreneurs Share What Makes Their Business Unique
In the current generation of business being unique is a top priority to getting noticed. Each day some new story comes out about some creative marketing plan that takes the cake and drives huge traffic to a business. The Taco Liberty Bell April Fool’s joke or Verizon’s real life ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ promo can only be described as unique. If a business is to survive and thrive making an effort to be unique is a must. Whether you pull off unique marketing stunts, have products which need no introduction or style yourself as an innovative CEO, having a defining quality is what customers will notice.
#1 – Diverse Work Culture
There's no shortage of PR agencies out there and as a young business, we understand how important it is to differentiate ourselves. One way we do this is by creating a diverse work culture, not only as it relates to gender or ethnicity but also professional experience. We're a unique team made up of both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds. Although we're all PR professionals at the end of the day, we've infused in a healthy mix of professional experience that's contributed to our growth and our unique business-first approach. I myself come from financial management and my partner comes from technology. While we work primarily with technology companies and startups, members of our team come from CPG marketing, design, fashion and even hospitality. This gives us a diverse view and helps us deliver results for our clients.
Thanks to Mark Lee, Hokku PR
#2 – Acts of Kindness
What makes our business different is our customer service and our unexpected acts of kindness that we show. For us, signing homeowners up for this service is the easy part. The hard part is getting them to talk about our company after their lawn is cut. As you know, lawn care is not the sexiest industry and usually only gets brought up only when mowing is necessary. I struggled with this issue for months until one night the idea to target our customers' pets came to me. We already knew whether or not they had pets, so why not use that information to get them talking about us. After buying $100 worth of dog bones and cat nip, we started sending these out to our customers, thanking them for their business and giving them our Yelp link of course. After a few trips to the post office, we saw the emails and Yelp reviews skyrocket. People were thanking us for going the extra mile and saying how they can't wait to tell their friends about our service. Mission accomplished! And they will never think about lawn care service again without thinking of us first. Powerful word of mouth advertising at a very minimal cost. Does this work? We are projected to hit $1m in gross revenue this year. Attached is one of our customer's Yelp reviews.
Thanks to Gene Caballero, GreenPal
#3 – Upside Down Advertising
We're a global consumer services marketplace, and we run a reverse advertising model. That is, our buyers advertise what they are looking for, and prospective vendors get in touch with them. Here's an example buyer advertisement: *We are a party of six English lads visiting New York, and we're looking for a chauffeur to show us the best sights on 18th June. This will include some bar-hopping in the evening. Ideally, we'd like a classy limo, but why don't you tell us what you have and what price you can do this for. The most important thing for us is a great experience – the driver needs to entertain us!* We think turning advertising on its head like this is going to be normal in years to come, but right now it's an innovation (search the web for intention economy), and what makes us stand out is that our buyers usually get a positive response within the hour – no other reverse-advertising model gets results so fast anywhere in the world. What's great about reverse advertising is how specific a buyer can be regarding what they need – it's very buyer-centric, and enables vendors to get a good insight as to what buyers are looking for in their industry sector.
Thanks to Neil Harris, Intently
#4 – Concept of Choice
We realized that that simple concept of choice was being decided on by tea industry focus groups as to what tea lovers enjoyed and for how long. In our 9th year of operation Design a Tea gives our customers the ability to design their tea blends from scratch. With the vast amount of ingredients we offer to design from, it results in hundreds of thousands of possible concoctions. We like to tell people if you are a Libra or indecisive by nature … this isn't the company for you. There are other tea companies that allow their consumers the ability to customize blends- but known offer as many possible blend design components as Design a Tea. Besides custom blending custom teas we encourage our customers to label the packaging with anything they so desire. With a custom blend and a customized label with a saying or even a picture- it's makes for a truly personalized and a one of a kind product or gift.
Thanks to Brian Pfeiffer, Design a Tea
#5 – Natural Products
Our business is different in a number of ways. First, we use only the most natural and simple ingredients to make our product. Many of the men's soap you would buy in the store are chalk full of chemicals you don't want on your body, or may contain a few buzz word natural ingredients that are far outweighed by the far worse synthetic ingredients. Our base is simple: Coconut, Hemp, Olive oil and Shea Butter. Ingredients you can pronounce straight from mother earth. Second, we have brought an experience and brand to guys that is solely online. We've created a trusted and professional site and an automated subscription service that allows you to never have to worry about running out to the store for soap again.
Thanks to AJ Fountain, Dr. Squatch Soap Co.
#6 – A Rural Setting
There are several things that make our business unique. We are in the web design / internet marketing space, an industry that usually sets up shop in cities throughout the U.S. Our office is located in a more rural setting and not a bigger city. Our clients appreciate the more laid back, slower pace of our suburban location. It's also an industry of liberal arts, yet our company is led by conservative Christian leadership instilling biblical values in our organization. A final thought that makes our company unique is that we are not your typical 1-2 man crew that makes up so many small website shops, and we are not your large advertising agency either. With WebTek's 12 employees, we are small enough to be personable (where the owners knows almost all the 500+ clients), yet has the resources of a much larger agency so our clients can get the best of both worlds. It's these things that make our web company unique.
Thanks to Kornel Kurtz, WebTek
#7 – A Niche Product
About four years ago I had a slew of car emergencies one after the other. I had to rely on roadside services and good Samaritans. I researched a kit online to purchase one for my car but was underwhelmed by the unorganized and clunky kits out there. From this FLARED was born. We have put together a chic, organized and practical emergency kit no female driver can afford to be without. Our goal is to educate and more importantly empower female drivers to take command and ownership of emergencies at the side of the road. Some items in the kit include jumper cables, LED flare, pepper spray, first aid kit, power bank and more. What sets FLARED apart is that we have found a niche in the market and are addressing it. In addition there is a strong social movement and message we hope to achieve, as we like to say ‘Cuz Women Drive Now Too'.
Thanks to Susan Metzger, FLARED LLC.
#8 – Jeans and Art
FIGI Jeans is a unique denim apparel line due to our combination of classic denim pieces (skinny jeans, girlfriend jeans, jean jackets and tee) and contemporary artwork. For each line, we work with a contemporary artist and express the artwork through print, resin, tears and other processes. I have been designing for more than 20 years and denim is my favorite material. There is so much you can do with the fabric in wash and application, as well as in styling. My partner and I both enjoy and are moved by contemporary art. We were inspired to create a fashion company that utilized contemporary art to bring more attention to the works of the artists.
Thanks to Diane Carleton, FIGI Jeans
#9 – Employee Wellness
In response to your query on what makes my business unique, I believe my company is very unique because we're the only employee wellness program that specializes in offering 20-minute movement sessions designed for working professionals to help boost their energy, productivity and recharge their workday. Our services help the employee feel more refreshed and it gives employers a quick and risk free way to improve their companies overall work performance.
Thanks to Ashley Chatman, Dance Break
#10 – Bringing the Party to You
One of my favorite lines when it comes to my business is , Why should Grownups have all the fun?! I feel like that sums up the reason for starting Pamper'd. Pamper'd is a mobile kids spa service that provides minicures, petite pedis, fruit or chocolate facials, and sheer excitement and entertainment for your girls ages 3-13. We call each of our girls princesses because we feel that's how they should view themselves. One of the biggest missions we have is to celebrate every young girls beauty from the inside, out. What makes us unique? We bring the party to you! Often, you find a lot of brick and mortar kid spas. My idea was convenience to our clients as well as creating a relaxing atmosphere at a fraction of the cost. The company is fairly new, but each party has created very memorable events for those that attend. .
Thanks to Mia Sharpe, Pamper'd Mobile Kids Spa
#11 – Connecting People
We are a business networking organization that is focused on connecting people socially first through unique interactive social exercises and the experiential part of our events. We are not a stuffy business meeting. We have fun things integrated like fashion shows and performances by comedians and magicians. We focus on finding the social commonalities and getting people to develop relationships into friendships so that they can establish trust and then the referrals can flow.
Thanks to Scott Eisenberg, SwapTheBiz
#12 – Unique Production
When we started, it was mainly as a wholesaler, with a simple online store. We produce every product in our natural skin care line, by ourselves. As we grew, we needed more space, so we moved into a place on the edge of town. And slowly we retail customers started coming in. Then we added a massage therapist and we started booking therapy appointments. Then we started hosting Make Your Own Scrubz™ parties and charity events, like The Breast of Everything℠ . When we moved to our larger retail store in the heart of town, we added other goods and became a gift store. We recently started doing private label work for other companies as well. We do so many things, but it all seems to work!
Thanks to Roberta Perry, Scrubz Body Scrub, Inc.
#13 – Left Brain Thinking
The fact that our team uses both sides of their brains. We’ve exposed the myth of right and left brain thinkers. Each of us was given a full brain for a reason. Every member of our team is expected to produce not only original ideas, but to vet those of others through thoughtful analysis. When you lead with that expectation, you double the conceptual power you can apply to clients’ needs. As a young (mid-30's) female entrepreneur with a team of 11 creatives, who comes from a family of psychologists and creatives, I really take the time to cultivate the right team with the right strengths and then match them to the client. This model has served us well and this type of left and right brain thinking is what the future of business needs to harness more of.
Thanks to Taja Dockendorf, Pulp+Wire
#14 – True Balance
My company, DockATot, is unique because it allows me to strike a true balance between entrepreneurship and motherhood. I currently run my international business from the comfort of my home office in Sweden, which has a camera that allows me to check on my kids while they are in the classroom. Instead of having to compartmentalize my duties as a parent and my duties as a business owner, they run parallel to each other so I never feel like I'm short changing either roles.
Thanks to Lisa Furuland, DockATot
#15 – Mother Earth
Our cannabis company is unique, as we are revolutionizing the way that marijuana is packaged. In contrast to the many marijuana companies who package their product in wasteful, disposable plastic containers, our cannabis is packaged in Earth-friendly recyclable tin cans with pure nitrogen to ensure only the highest level of integrity and quality. The packaging allows for the product to stay in its purest form and not be deteriorated by light or oxygen (consistent with Honest Marijuana Company’s overall philosophy to provide only the highest quality all-natural and eco-conscious marijuana). We hope to inspire other cannabis companies to place a greater focus on sustainability and caring for Mother Earth.
Thanks to Anthony Franciosi, HonestMarijuana