In Difference (2014), author Bernadette Jiwa explains how you can stand out and stay competitive in today's riotous business world. To cut through the noise of advertising everywhere, you have to connect with people emotionally and offer them something more. This book shows you how!
In the past, the path to creating, developing and marketing a product was straightforward.
First, you had an idea: a new teapot. You'd develop your teapot, deciding on the curve of its handle, the color of its glaze. Then you'd try to start selling your teapot, targeting your advertising to areas or demographics where you might find some potential customers.
But this kind of thinking doesn't work anymore. You can't just rely on your fantastic teapot eclipsing all your competitors. There are so many products available today that it's nearly impossible to truly make your teapot stand out!
If you want to be successful, you've got to think in a new way. You can't just try to be different; you've got to create difference.
Creating difference isn't about beating the competition but about doing something they've never done before. It's about reinventing your industry.
You have to think about what people really need if you want to create difference. You have to solve a problem for them and truly make their lives better. A new shiny teapot alone won't do that.
This means your creative process has to be different, too. Your product doesn't come first; what you need first is a truth. A truth about someone's problem. Then you think about solving that problem. Creating and launching the actual product comes at the very last, after this period of empathetic thinking. This is how you make your company stand out in an overcrowded market.
Warby Parker, an eyewear retailer, found success by finding a truth about eyeglass wearers and solving it.
The company founders realized that people who might not have hundreds of dollars to buy name-brand, stylish glasses still had the real desire to wear them. Yet there were no affordable options on the market for these customers.
Warby Parker recognized this and became successful by solving this problem – creating stylish and affordable eyewear – for this market segment.