How To Stand Out In A Crowded Market


Are you into Hamilton?

I wasn’t. The whole phenomenon managed to totally miss me until a few weeks ago.

It was my friend’s birthday and she invited me to see Hamilton with her.

I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t what I got.  You should have been there. I’ve never been in a room with so many people crying in my life. It was like a Backstreet Boys concert.

The show? It IS magical but it’s not just the show -- it’s the choices Lin Manuel Miranda makes about the positioning of the show that really makes it stand out.

For example, by race bending the characters and making it a show about POC, it adds not just a layer of secret sauce and uniqueness but it makes the work TIMELY and feel very right now.

He also makes it a hip-hop era, something that should NEVER work, so it’s truly an experience you can’t get anywhere else.

Hamilton is the BEST example of using branding to distinguish yourself from everyone else. 

We all joke about Unique Selling Propositions (or USP for short). It’s one of the things marketers have been shoving down our necks for YEARS but if executed correctly (most people don’t go far enough), it has the potential to make you a star within your industry and make selling easy. I don’t even want to know how much my friend paid for our tickets but it was a lot.

This isn’t something most people teach because it’s hard to put into words. Most people assume that a USP (I call it secret sauce) is just about picking a niche but it’s not. It’s about discovering how you can stand out.

What makes YOU DIFFERENT? What's your hook? 

Do you serve a unique audience? 

Are you exploring a topic in a way people have never done before? 

Are you leading with something unique about yourself? 

If you don't have answer to these, building a brand will be TRICKY because you aren't really standing out without it.

Your homework: get clarity on your brand! 

I have a free workbook that will help you do that, you can download it here:



branding, businessShenee Howard