When I went to drama school, I had a fantastic lecturer called Keith Heckenberg. He looked like a wizard with a long grey beard. He only ever wore black, and always wore long necklaces.Back then, I thought he was 100 years old, and he was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. One day he said to me- “Fiona, when in doubt- just be.”

I think about his words a lot. They apply to all sorts of life moments. I think they apply to brands too. Have you noticed there are a million businesses out there, all competing with the same products and services?

But often, businesses are so worried about competing with others, they end up becoming beige wallpaper. They all say the same things, and all look the same way. Who is going to remember your business if you look like everyone else? And if you look like everyone else, you’ve only got one point of difference-price. Then, it becomes a race to the bottom of who has the cheapest product or service. You are far more likely to be known and remembered for who you are, if your business projects itself as it truly is. Think of the brands that you love that are truly individual- Tonys Chocolonely, Hilier Bartley, London Fields and Secret Cinema.

So when you think about looking like your competitors, talking like your competitors, or copying your competitors, remember those wise words of Keith’s -when in doubt, just be -you.


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