Your business should be different

If you are building your online business, it is important to be different. The world doesn’t need another generic design store, shoe store, or bag store. What makes yours different from all the other stores out there? Yes, you can be better than most at ads or social media, and we provide you with products that very few stores are selling, but it will help a lot if you find some value that sets your store apart from others and use it consistently. In short: what will your store be known for?

  • When we built our shoe store, Saapavabrik, we told everyone in social media, ads, and even in our store that our shoes are probably not for you. We even directed some traffic to the homepages of Dr. Martens, Vagabond, and Ecco. We targeted people who didn’t care about brand but cared about no-nonsense, durable boots that are locally made.
  • I once had a live escape room business with a couple of friends. Initially, we told everyone that we were the first escape room in Estonia. But soon after, new escape rooms started popping up. We then positioned ourselves as the hardest escape room in Estonia, and maybe in the region. And our game really was hard! Our differentiation: being the hardest escape game.
  • When we started building Hertwill, it made no sense to build another dropshipping app offering products from overseas suppliers and Aliexpress. So, we decided that our differentiation would be to offer only high-quality products from European brands. We also didn’t want to offer or be associated with low-quality products. In fact, I recommend that the thing that makes your store or business different aligns with your own personal values.
Here is a picture of the proud owners of the hardest escape room in Estonia, featured in a local newspaper. The year was 2015.
If you have a clear differentiation, it makes everything else so much easier, including creating content and deciding which products to add to your store. For example, most of the content we put out about Hertwill highlights how our products are from real brands and of high quality. In the end, the goal is to find a small group of people to whom this value speaks and who will love your business for it. You don’t want to build a generic store and compete with Amazon and other big players. So, don’t be afraid to be different. Just make sure that someone else likes how you are different.

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