The Market for Something Different

by | Apr 10, 2005 | Marketing

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to outperform your competition. A stand-up comedian, for example, might think that the key to success is in being dirtier, raunchier, more degrading, and more offensive than his peers.

Often, however, the easiest and most powerful to find success is simply to be different.

Brian Regan is different—and people are talking about it. Here are some recent comments from Technorati just to get a feel for the buzz:

If you dont know who he is, you dont know what funny is yet. We saw him live (for the second time) in Chicago and my chest was sore afterwards. (link)

After talking with Raheel, JJ, Luke and Kyle, I went home and downloaded a clip of him and it was hilarious. He is now one of my favorite comedians. (link)

Two years ago I saw Brian Regan live and he surpassed Mitch [Hedberg] as my all time favorite comedian. (link)

I was introduced to his comedy in college and was hooked. Anymore, it is pretty rare to find a funny comedian who has a completely clean act, but somehow Brian manages. (link)

Brian Regan is the funniest man ever. (link)

Brian Regan is my favorite comedian ever…. The reason I like Brian Regan so much is because he creates comedy from everyday life and he keeps it clean. (link)

It’s not that he’s a more talented comedian. He’s quite good, but most professional comedians have a comparable degree of timing, creativity, vocal talent, etc. And even if he did have an edge in those talents, it wouldn’t be enough to make him stand out like he does.

The reason so many people love Brian Regan, quote Brian Regan, do bad Brian Regan impersonations, buy Brian Regan DVDs, tell their friends to download Brian Regan MP3s, etc., is that instead of trying to beat his competition at their own game, he went and created his own game.

Too many businesses fail to realize that people want new ideas. They assume that if people are buying product X, that a new product Y would never succeed because people are obviously happy with product X. Somehow it never occurs to them that people are only buying product X because that’s the only thing available.

It’s the reason that Hollywood keeps churning out sex and violence, and then an outsider comes along with a clean, low-budget wonder like Napoleon Dynamite and steals their thunder.

Put another way: We can’t all go for the blonde.

So instead of trying to optimize your business by going after the most likely customers, building the most popular products, or build the brand that you think everyone’s looking for, take some time to figure out what’s not already being done, and do that instead.

The end result is that you’ll be happier with what you’re doing, and a good chance that customers desperately seeking alternatives will flock to your business. Brian Regan tried it, and his audiences love him for it.

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