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Actually, Different First, Brand Second

In today's competitive business landscape, the desire to build a brand is a common goal for many dropshippers and ecommerce owners. Undeniably, crafting a store with captivating aesthetics, compelling brand stories, and a unique vibe is crucial. However, what often goes overlooked is the importance of being different.

Consider the reason for Ralph Lauren's success. The immediate response that springs to mind is typically "he built a great brand." Yet its beginning tells a different story. Ralph Lauren emerged during the 1960s when men's fashion predominantly comprised standardized suits, ties, and pants. His initial creation, a wide tie, offered the everyday man a taste of designer elegance. What about Lululemon, another successful brand? Lululemon pioneered the athleisure trend, introducing a completely new category to the market. These two brands triumphed because they were different. Ralph Lauren created a new category of wide designer ties, while Lululemon created a new category of comfortable, versatile athleisurewear. These brands became the go-to destinations for consumers seeking wide ties or athleisure suits. In essence, their success can be attributed to creating new markets through differentiation. These categories flourished and propelled their brands to unthinkable success. Different first, brand second.

One might argue that Ralph Lauren and Lululemon are outdated examples, as they both gained prominence decades ago. Now let's consider the recent sensational Liquid Death, the pioneering canned water company. Undeniably, Liquid Death took the world by storm with its exceptional branding efforts. With a brand name that incorporates the word "Death" and a slogan that boldly invites consumers to "murder your thirst," it captivates emotions and stands out. However, ultimately, Liquid Death's success lies in being the first-ever canned water beverage. It's not inherently superior to other water beverages; it's simply different.

Nevertheless, it's crucial to acknowledge that being different doesn't automatically guarantee success. Countless first movers have vanished. What is required is category design (a broad topic for another day). As you diligently design your stores, thoughtfully incorporating elements such as remarkable logos, captivating fonts, and alluring aesthetics, it is imperative to delve deeper and contemplate another fundamental question: How are you different?

So, as dropshipping is not dead yet in 2024, remember: Different first, brand second. Communicate clearly how your products are different, be a trailblazer, and leave an indelible mark on the industry.

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