From the moment we're born we are taught to believe that we're all special. Each of us a unique seed ready to grow into a stunning flower. Most businesses feel the same. Start-ups are born out of their ideas to fulfill a special need. Business plans are written with the idea that your expertise and service will stand out. But what do you do when you're in a business where good enough suffices, or price is a heavy driver of business? What do you do when you're a business that is good at what it does but your industry has a lot of competitors that are all as good as you are. No one wants to admit to being in this position, but we all know that this is exactly where many if not most businesses (our clients) exist.
Think about the industries we interact with and how interchangeable they likely are. Your bank, for instance. Besides who holds your mortgage, if a new bank held all your money would you even notice? Do any of us really know if one laundry detergent cleans things better than an other? Once you put five blades on a razor don't they all shave about the same? The answers are no, no and yes.
This is where brand and design make all the difference. They are drivers of decisions. We're always touting the importance of design and branding for companies like Apple. But when a company makes remarkable products brand is the icing on the cake. Brand becomes the cake when you're doing things in line with everybody else. The difference between Gillette and Schick is that one is "the best a man can get." These seemingly trivial things are of dire importance. The brand's personality and voice become integral to the business growing or plodding along. Because even when the end product is just like everyone else's the way you communicate can be unique. A brand and a business can always improve it's communication. You can't always just add another blade to the razor.