Why Trying To Be Unique May Actually Hurt Your Business

We all want to feel like we have the big idea that no one else has thought of. Because obviously that's the spot most powerful business plans originate from.

But pause for a second and think about Uber, StitchFix, and Netflix. The founders of these companies had to explain concepts to people at the outset without any direct competition to refer to. It took a lot of money and advertising to bring these businesses to market in a way that cultivated enough understanding among their audience to eventually create raving fans.

Uber is a game changer and you want that, right? But what you might not realize is that pressure is making everything in your business harder.

people don't understand my business idea

Think back to a time when you had an idea for something new. You knew it would solve a problem that your audience was facing. And it felt crazy that no one else had tried it before.

So you start talking about it to people. And they responded with a little bit of head nodding but you can tell they don’t really get it.

What do you do? You keep pressing your points on why this is so needed and how it’s better than what other services or products offer.

But they’re still lost.

How can you so clearly see the value in something that others are having trouble grasping, you wonder?


If you look closely at these never-before-thought-of ideas, it isn’t that the outcome is different; rather, the process to get the outcome is different.

Let’s keep Uber as our example. Why would someone need Uber? They want to get somewhere and they either can’t or don’t want to drive themselves. It’s the same outcome as someone who would call a taxi or hire a car service.

The difference is in the how…the process. But people don't really buy process itself. They buy the value of the process.

For people looking to be transported, that unique value is the greater availability and accessibility of options and a cheaper ride.


If I were selling Uber based on the process itself, I’d sound like this:

Imagine getting picked up by someone who you don’t know, in a car you aren’t familiar with, and paying through your phone…through an app to which you uploaded your bank information.

Sounds like a scam to me.

Now let’s re-frame this to focus on the value rather than the process.

Imagine being able to request a driver from the comfort of your home, at a fraction of the price of a private sedan service, knowing that you’d be able to get back at the end of the night easily, quickly, and safely.

In one short sentence, I’ve started to build a much different story just by changing the focus of my offer.


Once you’ve got an idea in your head, you need to narrow in on why that's so valuable to your target market. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is important to my audience?

  • How will this make their life easier/better/different?

  • What are the benefits to this option vs. others available to my clients?

Use this information to start talking about your offer. If you find yourself treading into a description of how you do it, veer back to why it matters. The only time it’s appropriate to discuss the step-by-step process is when someone asks, "So how do we work together?"

Your idea is unique! But people have to understand its relevance before they can appreciate it.

What's the biggest challenge you're having getting your audience to understand your value? Post it below and I'll get back with some quick tips to starting making progress.


entrepreneurship, nicheKim Wensel