Topic: How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Scenario: Customers’ attention spans are shorter than ever, even as they’re increasingly being split between different devices and channels – and marketed to more often than at any point in history. Every business (even those operating in highly commoditized spaces) needs to find ways to immediately stand out and differentiate at a glance. Luckily, doing so is often just a matter of packaging and presentation, meaning that you can easily and cost-effectively reposition yourself to be more successful.

Insight: What makes lip balm (one of the world’s largest commodities) cost $10 vs $3 a stick? Good branding, packaging, and backstories. What makes someone a well-known futurist when thousands of management consultants and market researchers do similar work every day? Better marketing and positioning. Why does one fried chicken sandwich restaurant classify as fast-food and another as a must-see stop for hipsters? Slightly different ingredients and messaging. Take control of your image, and get creative with branding, and you’ll go far, even on a limited budget.

Topic: What Does it Mean to Be Hyperlocal?

Scenario: Hyperlocal is defined as focusing on a smaller, more targeted community or geographic area. As ever, concentrating on serving a niche such as this can be a powerful tool for building your business – and building greater goodwill and awareness with your target customer. Sometimes, going small can be more effective than going big, allowing you to prototype and provide a more custom-crafted solution to a smaller audience before refining it and rolling it out at larger scale.

Insight: Despite continuing disruption and economic upheaval, many businesses (especially small to mid size businesses) are finding success by concentrating on going hyperlocal and more capably serving specific niche communities. This strategy allows you to not only become a bigger fish in a smaller pond, and enjoy greater support and awareness as you work to build your company. It also allows you to more effectively support others in the same boat, create winning partnerships with like-minded peer, and test new ideas at smaller, more cost-effective scale, learning as you go before eventually ramping up to serve a much larger audience or global community. Likewise, going hyperlocal creates opportunities to provide services and solutions that serve the needs of audiences too small or esoteric for national firms to serve, allowing you to play in spaces they’ve strategically ignored or overlooked.