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 – Art You Can Hear
Artipoeus is a bi-monthly podcast taking listeners with me as I visit contemporary art exhibits around the world. Artipoeus streams online globally and broadcasts on several radio stations in the US and Europe. Radio stations like the BBC, NPR or local stations will often include a quick review of an important museum exhibit, and there are plenty of podcasts interviewing artists about their creative process… but Artipoeus is the only show that actually takes you through the biggest museums and the smallest galleries, talks about graffiti and street art as easily as of Ai Wei Wei and Andy Warhol, and brings the work to life I get to draw on the visual storytelling techniques I picked up as an indie screenwriter in Hollywood to make the art real and vivid for my listeners, and my experience running around with artists and musicians in Downtown New York City during the 80s and 90s that informs the way I see art today — kind of like if Anthony Bourdain talked about art instead of food. Artipoeus also hosts talks and events, curates exhibits, and is about to add merchandising to add a little color to the listening experience. Artipoeus is art you can hear.
Thanks to Susie Kahlich, Artipoeus
#2 – Merino Wool
My business is very unique, you will not find practically anything like this in US: I am arm knitting all my products with giant Merino wool. My products are made from 100% Australian Merino wool, which is hypoallrgenic, moisture-wicking and even antibacterial. The blankets look giant and people love my products. I came up with this idea when I saw a video of a person on Youtube doing arm knitting and when I was looking for the yarn to do arm knitting, I found giant Merino wool, made my first scarf, then a blanket. It is so much fun to arm knit with 100% Merino wool and I love to share my passion with people around.
Thanks to Larissa Koedyker, BeCozi
#3 – Credit Solutions
BR Finance Solutions is unlike any other lender out there. Unlike traditional and non-traditional lenders, online and in person, BR Finance
Solutions helps people in need and gain access to funding they never thought possible. Through the use of interest free lines of credit, people
are now able to not only start a business, but grow their current one, increase their return on investment and/or get them through even the most difficult times in their personal lives. People do not have to provide any collateral to obtain funding or put themselves at risk for going into debt or provide various documentation with monthly revenue. Instead the only requirement to obtain funding is a credit score of 650+. However, BR Finance Solutions is able to provide alternatives to those who have bad credit or no credit. They can repair your credit bringing your FICO score to 650+, giving everyone a fair chance to become successful.
Thanks to Lori Askins, BR Finance Solutions
#4 – Niche Specialization
We’re a video-only marketing agency, which is a particularly unique specialization. Where ad agencies / marketing agencies usually focus on coming up with the creative strategy across a wide range of different mediums, and video production companies just do the execution on the creative that a company or agency gives them, we perform both creative strategy and production in-house. Because we specialize in video, our depth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to strategy is much richer than a typical agency, and because our production is all in-house, the message doesn’t get lost in translation in the hand off from one company to another. There are a lot of agencies who have this kind of specialization when it comes to web design and development, but no others (or very few) are approaching video marketing from our viewpoint.
Thanks to Jenko Kent, Stage 6 Media
#5 – Answering the Phone
What makes our business unique is that we answer the phone. I don't like calling businesses and having to go through the whole robot thing and pressing 3 for this and 5 for this and oh that extension doesn't work anymore nonsense, so we answer every single call between 7 am and 5 pm. At least once a week we are told by a caller that they want to use our transcription services because we answered the phone first. Until that changes we will keep answering the phone.
Thanks to Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
#6 – Playing Fair
My interior design business is different from others in my industry because I took money out of the equation. Since I don’t purchase furnishings or materials for my clients (instead I shop places where they can buy directly) neither I nor my staff are motivated to “up sell” our clients on more expensive things. It’s all the same to us if someone buys a $1000 sofa from Ikea or a $10,000 sofa from Ralph Lauren. This means that we have a higher level of trust with our customers and they know that we are just trying to help them make the best choices possible based on their budget and needs. No one believed we could be successful and make a living with this model, but we’re 9 years in to business and thriving, so we must be doing something right!
Thanks to Rebecca West, Rebecca West Interiors
#7 – Reinvent Urban Public Space
BRV reinvents urban public spaces and parks through public-private partnership. From Bryant Park in New York to Klyde Warren Park, built over a freeway in Dallas, to Military Park, an under used and vacant space in Newark, NJ, we work with local cities, citizens and groups to build or renovate urban spaces and parks with private money. Given the new economic realities, many parks and downtown areas can no longer be maintained by city and state governments alone, but increasingly through public-private partnership. We help raise money privately, which is particularly attractive to most US cities that don’t have the finances, and don’t want to turn to tax payers, to pay for much needed improvements. Funding is raised through sponsorships, licensing arrangements, events, and concessions instead of from taxpayers.
Thanks to Dan Biederman, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures
#8 – Working with Small Businesses
My company really fills a special niche of working directly with small businesses who want to use a marketing agency, but not pay the hefty prices that typical marketing agencies charge. We work with clients from startup level all the way to well-established, helping them with social media, copywriting, website development, and graphic design. Since we specialize in small business, we know the type of shoestring budgets they deal with, so it's our job to provide effective marketing while meeting their budget. Marketing is one of those areas that really serves a small business well in taking their business to the next level, but unfortunately due to the prices that typical agencies charge, many small businesses cannot afford it. It really is a detriment since often well done marketing and branding can take a small company to the next level, and with all the hats a small business owner wears they just don't have the time to handle it.
Thanks to Endrea Kosven, EDK and Company
#9 – Private Destination
Elsa Fine has become extremely unique over the past year of being in business. When we finally decided to settle into a brick and mortar space, we didn't look for the typical strip mall or boutique location. We wanted something obscure and interesting that would create a destination for our brand. Where as boutiques in Charlotte, NC can be found centered around each other with store frontage, we're located in a secluded spot that isn't easily found. We're a private destination for shoppers who truly want a one-on-one experience. We've created a destination where our clients can feel exclusive, having knowledge of a brand that is somewhat underground, in a sense, instead of out on a high traffic street for all to see.
Thanks to Jordan Dollard, Elsa Fine
#10 – Embracing E-Commerce
We’ve embraced the popularity of e-commerce and offer a new, convenient way for people to buy a new mattress. Our orders ship quickly and arrive at your home rolled up in a box. All you have to do is open the box and enjoy! However, as a mattress retailer, many people find it strange that we almost entirely do business online. We have mitigated the fact that most customers don’t actually get the chance to try the mattress before purchasing by going above and beyond to ensure their is no risk in trying our product. We offer free shipping to Canada and the U.S., a 100-day home trial, and full money-back guarantee if unsatisfied – and we’ll even pay the return shipping! Some retailers may find this client satisfaction guarantee extreme, but we stand firmly behind our product and have found that customers respond very well to this approach.
Thanks to Alex Yakimavets, Formeflex
#11 – Easier Development
Of course, there are plenty of app development companies out there today. However, the custom app development process continues to be a painful one, with apps being always over timeframe and over budget. This is mainly due to the app development landscape being hard to navigate on one's own. The process of creating an app is also very complicated, requiring hundreds of man-hours from people of various skill-sets. What makes Designli different is the fact that we are striving to take the pain out of this process. We work with our clients to establish a scope of work of exactly what they are working to build, doing all of the spec'ing out upfront. Then, we'll assemble a team around that particular project, pulling folks with various skillsets in our vetted network of talent that we've worked with dozens of times in the past. We'll form that team, guarantee a fixed price, and guarantee the scope of work deliverable in order to make the process as streamlined for the client as possible.
Thanks to Keith Shields, Designli
#12 – Mature Businesses
There are many consulting and coaching businesses available to entrepreneurs. But I noticed few of these companies discuss emotional sobriety in business. Our emotional responses either create lasting business relationships or destroys them. Founding entrepreneurs run the gamut in age, but many successful founders have been in their early twenties. With so many entrepreneurs being inexperienced in business and relationships, someone needs to guide them through difficult situations. Emotionally Mature Business helps entrepreneurs stay calm and talk nice on the hard days.
Thanks to Elizabeth Garvey, Emotionally Mature Business
#13 – Selling Franchises
When most people think of franchising, restaurants automatically come to mind. Our business is different than others because we are one of the few companies that allows franchisees to sell franchises to others looking to open a business. Our Master Franchisees don’t just buy a franchise, they become the CEO of their own franchising company. Anago's Master Franchise Model allows our Master Owners to build an empire in their territory by securing commercial cleaning contracts and selling their own unit franchises to service those contracts with the cleaning services. This difference is the reason our company is continuing to experience growth throughout the US and Canada.
Thanks to Adam Povlitz, Anago Cleaning Systems
#14 – New Take on Travel Platform
TalkTalkBnb is a new take on the collaborative travel platform. It stands out from other services like Airbnb and Couchsurfing for two major reasons: first, it's completely free; second, it involves the educational aspect of foreign language learning. Everybody sees the personal benefit of traveling, and some travelers might want to just crash in someone's empty apartment. But many more people are actually more interested in cultural exchange. TalkTalk goes one step further and shows travelers how to utilize their native language as currency, in exchange for free lodging and an insider experience of local culture. Hotel alternatives are popular right now, but an educational aspect is the newest and latest twist to the trend.
Thanks to Hubert Laurent, TalkTalkBnb
#15 – Sincere Content
Lobster in his natural habitat will never cease growing, so our platform will continue to get bigger and brighter. We bring together creatives looking for fresh good visual and the source of the most sincere content out there, the social media users who are passionate and become more and more professional when it comes to photo and video production. It's wonderful to create a common ground and help people find their best fit. The flavour of uniqueness is given here by the scalable characteristic of Lobster, because we get our authentic images and videos from billions of contributors that already use social media. The quirkiness: we have genuine content from anyone, anywhere on earth, and provide the greatest choice of content at a reasonable cost and fair conditions. So, we make it licensable, searchable, discoverable as we can search and request rights for over 30 billion authentic images and videos. Plus, we've just introduced the AI Search so the customers could save time while seeking their image.
Thanks to Olga Egorsheva, Lobster