Recently I’ve been in a bit of a sticky situation which most of you may have experienced – I’ve been house hunting. Naively, I thought the process would be simple; apply for a few places, meet potential roommates, and then obviously receive multiple offers to move in and I could have the pick of the bunch. Well I came to find out it’s a lot trickier than that – turns out there’s a plethora of other very eligible candidates applying for places just the same as me! Really, I should have seen this coming, in a crowded marketplace there is always competition and it’s means that you have to stand out from the crowd to get noticed.
Thinking about this I realised it’s not dissimilar from a lot of the work The Interpreters have with our clients. Brands and organisations are constantly looking for attention from consumers and wanting to understand how they can best market themselves to stand out from the pack and get selected ahead of others. So, I thought about the brands that stand out to me and how they differentiate themselves from their competition.
Considering my move, I decided to take to take up the opportunity to get a new mattress. This is when I came across Koala, a brand based out of Sydney who are focused on offering mattresses to the millennial audience. What really caught my attention was the convenience of their service – after ordering a mattress online, Koala will deliver it at your doorstep in 4 hours, and you can have 120 nights to decide if you like it or they’ll completely refund it. In an otherwise traditional industry heavily overpopulated by brick and mortar retailers, it’s obvious that Koala’s convenient approach stood out to me. And it’s certainly caught the attention of other shoppers too, with the brand reaching $13 million of revenue in their first 12 months and have since expanded to offering bed bases and now other furniture.
HAVE A SQUIZ
No, I’m not referring to inspecting potential properties here, but rather the Australian news outlet: The Squiz. The Squiz is ‘your shortcut to being informed’ and have been delivering headlines through a daily email newsletter and podcast since early 2017. Now, there’s obviously no shortage of news distributers available to me, but the Squiz really stood out because of the tone and attitude they bring to the table. The two founders claim the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously and presents a refreshingly inviting and jovial tone to what can at times be quite serious news, while by no means undermining the credibility or relevancy of the headlines they deliver. The Squiz immediately became my go-to for the daily news, putting myself in such esteemed company as Russel Howcroft and Leigh Sales, along with the nearly 2 million others who have downloaded the podcast.
To be honest, Lush is a brand I’ve never purchased from, but have always admired from a far. It is a brand that’s always stood out to me, not only because their stores smell amazing, but because they value honesty and transparency over everything else. Lush probably doesn’t need an introduction (unless you’ve never used soap before), but they were originally a UK company whose handmade soaps and cosmetic products are now sold around the world. They are squeaky clean when it comes most areas of their business – offering handmade products that are ethically produced and feature organic or natural ingredients, they also actively fight against animal testing and offer sustainable forms of packaging. All of this is in stark contrast to other cosmetic companies who may talk the talk, they certainly do not demonstrate it to the same level as Lush do.
And so back to the matter at hand – what is the best way to stand out to my new potential housemates? Should I be convenient like Koala and be flexible in arranging inspection times around others schedules? Should take a leaf out of The Squiz’s book – be relaxed and down to earth when talking to other tenants? Or is it best to just be honest and open about what I’m looking for in a new house, like Lush? And which is best for brands?
The answer, unfortunately, isn’t clear – possibly because I haven’t found a place to move out to yet – but mainly because having the right mix of attributes to stand out and appeal to your target audience is actually really tricky. It’s not just one attribute that’s guaranteed to work, but a combination, and it has to be ones your brand can authentically own. Not to mention understanding what qualities will resonate best amongst your key consumers.
And I’m sorry if this has left you feeling a little overwhelmed in finding the answer for you or your brand to take a slightly larger slice of the pie. But not to worry, The Interpreters are always at hand to find the answer for you, while I’m maybe not an expert at house inspections just yet, we are well versed in what consumers want.
By James Shelley