Lessons in being unique, from YouTube

Stand out from the crowd, with the Ghostbusters, the Marx Brothers and the Young Ones.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

When it comes to cornering a market, nobody did it better than the Ghostbusters. Indeed, whenever there was something strange in the neighbourhood, and particularly when it didn’t look good, they were so firmly established as the go-to guys that the question ‘Who you gonna call?’ became purely rhetorical. 

While it’s wise to be aware of your rivals, your focus should remain very much on your own offering. Worry about doing what you do as well as you can. As the Marx Brothers show, if you watch your rivals too closely, chances are you’ll end up just like them.

A simple way to appear unique lies in how you talk to your customers. Look at the casual tone employed by Pret a Manger or Innocent drinks, companies that address their punters as personal friends. But the tone has to be right for business. The Young Ones’ Neil perhaps goes too far with this letter to his bank manager.

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