The fastest way to grow your business is to be different enough from your competitors to win market share yet similar enough to make it unnecessary to educate your prospects about what you do. 

It’s a subtle idea, but one that can make all the difference to the success of your business. 

Unique Yet Recognizable? 

Being unique yet recognizable is itself an unusual business concept. So, it’s important to grasp this idea better before delving into how you can be more innovative in your business. 

An illustration will help make this concept clear. 

Apple is a perfect example of a company that is unique yet recognizable. At a net worth of $1 trillion in 2020, it is a legendary company. Not bad for an outfit that started from a garage.  

But how did it become so popular with people with technophiles? It focused on being unique enough to be an outlier yet not different enough to be unrecognizable. 

An Apple computer on a desktop looks like a computer, not a piece of alien technology. Yet it’s not quite like any other computer in the marketplace. Its hardware and operating system and applications and services are not only unique but everything ties together in a novel cloud architecture.   

The company itself is also unique.  All devices and apps that Apple creates work seamlessly together. This is not magic. It’s management science. Specifically, careful internal organizational restructuring. Instead of silos, all decisions at the giant tech company flow out from a single executive committee. 

Now that you understand the concept of being unique yet recognizable, how can you apply it to your business? 

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How to Be More Innovative 

Here are three suggestions on how to be more innovative in your business: 

1. Adopt New Technology 

Technological innovations occur all the time in various industries, but not all businesses in these industries notice them. The trick is to be an early adopter before other companies in your industry catch on.

For instance, if you own a construction company, your use of Geofoam will make your business far more attractive to customers than a company that uses cheap soil replacement to stabilize structures. Rigorously engineered structural foam blocks can make all the difference in large scale projects so be sure to pick quality materials every step of the way. 

Geofoam comes in two forms: expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). It’s made into lightweight blocks of varying sizes and replaces soil on slopes that need stabilization to avoid landslides. These blocks can support embankments or hold up retaining walls. Besides reducing the need for digging, this innovative product is far more stable than soft soil. 

By adopting this new technology, you will attract more customers than other construction companies that still rely on shifting soft soil to support structures. 

2. Create a Business Think Tank 

The better your business ideas, the more likely you are to build a successful company. Unfortunately, most business owners are too busy running their businesses to pause and focus on how to improve them. 

The best way to get a steady flow of ideas to build your business is to create your own in-house think tank. 

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Recruit a team of executives to meet at certain times of the month to brainstorm fresh ideas. Insightful ideas will resolve recurring business problems. For instance, if your business is struggling with low cash flow, your team will brainstorm ways to handle this financial challenge. Besides resolving recurring or pressing business problems, insightful ideas will also grow your business faster.

Also, consider inviting business consultants to these think tank sessions when your team hits an impasse and needs to leverage the wisdom of a specialist. 

3. Improve Your Brand 

By improving your brand, you’ll build a stronger business. You can improve your brand by understanding your customers’ needs more accurately. You can improve it by identifying fresh business opportunities. You can improve it by measuring the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing campaigns. And you can improve it by surveying your customers to learn how to serve them better.

One thing that all successful companies have in common is that they are refreshingly different from their competitors. With that in mind, think about what you can do to up your game.