Don’t Run Someone Else’s Business

Have you ever really noticed how so many businesses follow the same model? Most of the fast food chains all have the same front counter setup including the display menu above the counter on the back wall. Electronic stores all have the same basic floor plan and grocery stores as well. If makes me ask the question who started each model and why is it that most entrepreneurs would rather follow than lead? I believe that they think – “If it works for McDonald’s, who am I to question it.”

What ever happened to innovation? Originality? Is there no value in leading any more?

There are a few bright spots. I was recently at an Apple store. The cash is along the back wall. The odd thing was there were no cash registers. On purchasing they email you your receipt. The layout is open and airy, and only their icon is on the marquis. I was at a local sushi restaurant, where you sat at your “spot” and the sushi came past you in a little boat and you take the plate you want. Very unusual, and different.

Two entirely different size operations but BOTH are leaders. When consumers are trying very hard to be discriminating about where they drop their dollars, wouldn’t you agree that it would be the better move to grab their attention with a unique approach rather than be another one of many? How much more will you have to spend in advertising to distinguish yourself after trying so hard to blend in? Differentiation isn’t a catch word it’s a game changer in every regard. Back to Apple, what if the iPad looked just like the Kindle, do you really think they would have sold 450,000 in the first week?

It’s time you ran your own business and let the competition bury themselves in someone else’s.

Ed Roach

For more than 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiates them from their competition. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. I consult predominantly with businesses facilitating my proprietary branding process. This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace.

I have international speaking experience and am the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today. I'm also a "expert panellist" with Bob Proctor (from The Secret)'s Matrixx Events in Toronto.

I have been interviewed in all media and I also blog extensively and uses the digital realm on the web to connect and promote my services world-wide.

I have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, in the Czech Republic and is the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today, the book is available on and the Amazon Kindle store.

My clients are from Canada, The United States, Ukraine, India, United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego aimed at teaching Graphic Design companies how to build brands for their customers.


  1. Hi Ed!

    That’s very true Differentiation, and doing things differently is invaluable for businesses. I guess the fear of making a mistakes causes start ups to follow than lead. And I also feel that coming up with creative ideas that are practical isn’t always easy.

  2. The great ideas never are Ravi. You need a visionary at the top. That’s how great companies are born.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. ALL businesses should have a USP (unique selling proposition) that helps define how they are different from their competition. Without it you will become a commodity.

  4. Being a mere commodity is such a lousy place to be. Thanks for commenting BL.

  5. It takes a bigger jump and a very great risk being different. There is fear of failure of a business. The article is great. It inspires who are afraid to do different and be on top. 🙂

  6. …and sometimes PMM it is the fear of success that holds people back. Every day we live with failure, ie: failure to win the lottery, failure to bake the cake properly, failure get a great deal etc. We are brought up being comfortable with things not going as planned. Success means we have to put yourself out there, and many people are very uncomfortable with that space.

    Leadership is not for everyone.

  7. Ed.. It is very tempting to copycat what is working for others. Many marketers even try to do this, and end up getting run out of business because they do not offer anything unique. The key to branding is to create something unique to remember you by, not by copying something else that just makes the water muddy.