Dare to be different [Step-by-step guide]

From a very young age, the educational system teaches us to conform to preposterous rules. Do this, don’t try that. Sit straight, get a haircut, don’t pick your nose.

Some of these  rules are there to help you thrive.

But more often than not, these repelling rules result in lost uniqueness of the person you were supposed to be. They are there because sheep are easier to herd than wolves.

You were born unique.

The odds of you being born were 1 in 400 trillion. Let that sink in for a while. One in 400 trillion.

Yet we all have the same jobs, drive the same cars, wear the same clothes, have the same opinions dictated by the same news media.

For the last few years, I have been mentoring different age groups. Elementary school kids, aged 11 or 12, who wanted to win the grand prize of 500€ at a national entrepreneurial competition. High schoolers, who thought having your own business meant designing your own schedule and taking it easy. Students, attending universities and imagining how they can make the world a better place.

Guess what?

I bet you could measure & create a scientific study on how creative thinking diminishes through these generations.


With 11-year-old kids, the conversation usually goes something like this:

Chris: “I am going to build a spaceship.”
Me: “OK, Chris, take it easy. You need engineers and resources and rocket fuel to do that.”
Chris: “I will figure it out”
Ben: “We could ask Tom’s uncle. He works with metal things.”
Me: “OK, now let’s be realistic…”
Tom: “It’s true. I’ll call my uncle right away. Andrej, can I use my phone? It’s for the project”.

These kids might not build the spaceship, but their energy might fuel something. Their world is not (yet) limited by reality. They are curious and unique.

College guys are usually much more negative.

Older Chris: “I don’t know. I don’t really have any ideas. Oh, I know. I could… No, that won’t work. That’s a stupid idea. Oh, wait, maybe we could… ah, no, we, that’s probably too complicated.”

By trying to conform to every rule out there, we are losing what makes us unique, what makes us different.

No wonder so many companies today suck at defining their positioning and their differentiation.

What is differentiation & how to use it

Ever wondered about what makes us different? What makes us unique?

Just like every person is different, so is (almost) every product. Some brands are just better at communicating what makes them unique than others.

These brands think about their differentiation strategically. They approach all aspects of their business by thinking about how they can provide their customers with something unique;

They develop their products to provide a unique experience,
they have unique communication,
they offer their customers unique values.

Benefits of being different

It’s easy to understand why this uniqueness has benefits. People identify with specifics. Your “being different” caters to a specific group of people – your niche. Ever heard a commercial on radio or tv and thought: “Hey, this guy is talking to me!”? I bet you stopped and listened. That’s what “specific” does.


People just remember differences better. If you want to become a top-of-the-mind solution – a solution that people immediately think of when confronted with a specific problem – then you NEED to be different.

Long story short, by working on your differentiation, by being different, you become the only logical choice for a specific group of people. That means little to no competition.

Imagine a world where you have no real alternatives. What kind of money could you make?

4 degrees of differentiation

Being unique sounds good, doesn’t it? So how do I do it? How do I pull it off?

It’s lucky you stumbled across this article.

There is a thought-provoking exercise that I regularly do with my clients at my positioning workshops where we put all of our attributes on paper and turn them into values for the clients.

We start by writing down every attribute we can think of, be it good, bad, controversial, related to the product or even to the team.

apersolja_4 degrees of differentiation_article feature image

In the next step, we take these attributes and turn them into values for the client. We figure out why our differentiation matters to the client. What the clients are left with are values that their customers really care about. It’s these values you need to spread around your websites, social media channels, and integrate them into your sales pitches in order to attract the clients you want.

Go ahead, do it now.

Step 1: Think about an attribute you have. IE: I am inpatient.

Step 2: Think about the advantage that this attribute give you. IE: I don’t have the patience to wait.

Step 3: Turn that attribute into a benefit that the client is getting because of it. IE: Because I don’t want to wait, I will make everything in my power to get the results as fast as possible. So the benefit for the client is: Faster results.


Interested in holding a workshop for your team finding out your differentiation, so you can stand out and charge more?

1 have one spot left in 2022 for my Positioning workshop.

Schedule a call, and let’s Nail Your Positioning so you can start 2023 with a bang!

Bonus: Does pricing matter?

If you are thinking about your positioning, about your differentiation: Congratulations, you have broken out of the cage the educational system set for you and found how you and your product / service differs from the competitors.

The good news is you can now stop competing on price and start competing on the unique values you provide to your customers.

You know all those people saying “you want how much???” – They are going to disappear when you are competing on your differentiation instead of competing on price.

The more unique you are, the more the price doesn’t matter. And once you become the only logical choice for a selected group of people… well, then there is no stopping you anymore.


The odds of you being born were 1 in 400 trillion. You are born unique.

But by constantly trying to conform to society’s rules we slowly lose our uniqueness.

And yet the biggest potential you can get on the market today is to be unique, to be different.

Being different from your competition allows you to charge more, to become a top-of-mind solution, to become the only logical choice for your selected group of customers.

There is a thought-provoking exercise that I regularly do with my clients at my positioning workshops where we put all of our attributes on paper and turn them into values for the clients.

Stop reading this section and read the “4 degrees of differentiation” paragraph to find the exercise.

With the help of the exercise, you can find your differentiation.

Building a website? You have everything you need to communicate right there in front of you. Pitching a client? Yup, here is what you need to tell him. Trying to get people to click on your ads? Here’s what you need to make them feel.

Priceless, isn’t it?

apersolja avatarHey. My name is Andrej, I am a growth marketer talking about positioning a lot. But hey, it’s important. Positioning is the basis of your marketing and sales. Flop that and you will flop your company. That’s why I created a portal of free resources on digital marketing and positioning. Access it here: RESOURCES

If you find it useful – every like, every share on social media helps. Spread the love.

+ get in touch with me on Linkedin, I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Thanks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section]

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1 year ago

[…] Positioning is all about understanding your target customer pain points (or better: needs) and then differentiating your product to meet those needs better than your competition. (Learn how to differentiate your product in this article.) […]

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