April 16th, 2010 | Edwin Dearborn, Chief Brand Officer

Had a great laugh, but I knew he was serious.

“What makes you guys different than those guys with the stupid lawn signs?”  I guess the pinstripe suit wasn’t quite enough to ensure the differentiation. After my chuckle, I realized that this was a key question to full address with this potential client.

I told him that I have never done stupid lawn signs, well because, they’re stupid. But in reality I appreciate the lawn signs. It is another American ingenuity right up there with the Ford Pinto and the home loans with variable interest. It is an attempt at doing business, but it eventually labels you and positions you at the low end of business. And for the guy, like me, who will never do a stupid lawn sign, it presents another challenge to clarify my position in the market place.

But I have to “give props” to the stupid lawn sign people. They have helped me to define my position in what I am not. So thank you. In fact, keep putting up more of those signs so I can clearly show that I am the opposite end of the spectrum. But this is a key to all of us to understand an opportunity. Within your own industry, there are varying examples of stupid lawn people who make your industry look cheap and gimmicky. This presents you with a wonderful chance to clearly communicate what you are not and how you are different – in a good way.

If you look around, stupid lawn people exist everywhere making it hard to get others to differentiate what we do. But in that very challenge lurks an amazing opportunity. Maybe it opens the door to reinvent your Brand.

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