Distinction Is The Difference In Marketing Today

When marketing a product or service the goal of a business owner is to have their business stand-out amongst the competition. You can’t put a quarter in a machine and have your differentiator dispensed.    

When marketing a product or service the goal of a business owner is to have their business stand-out amongst the competition. You can’t put a quarter in a machine and have your differentiator dispensed.    

Many owners spend their career trying to figure out what makes them distinct and how to tell the masses!

It’s More Than Being Different.

How do you look like YOU? What’s your colors, words, sound, smells, style, attitude, logo?  Choose a style that can’t be duplicated. Catalog those brand codes. Put a flag in it and call it your own. 

Make a Mark

I like whiskey but I’m not an aficionado. I believe the story behind Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky makes it taste better to me. See, Maker’s Mark doesn’t use rye like most whiskey. They use wheat, corn and barley instead. You don’t care right? When developing the recipe in 1953 Bill Samuels made a loaf of bread from each of 7 recipes and the one with no rye was judged the best tasting. Cute, but no reason to drink it – I get it. 

Maker’s Mark is aged for around six years, being bottled and marketed when the company’s tasters agree that it is ready. Now we’re getting somewhere.  Seems like they care.

Maker’s Mark is one of the few distillers to rotate the barrels from the upper to the lower levels of the aging warehouses during the aging process to even out the differences in temperature during the process. Wow, they care about taste.

Be Distinct

The iconic Maker’s Mark wax dipping gives the bottle its distinctive look. The wax didn’t just seal the bourbon. It sealed the brand. Still today, bottles are hand-dipped, slowing production from the more average 300 bottles per hour to 150. That’s one way to be distinct.

How do you become the Maker’s Mark of your business category? Johnny Molson says stripping away the asterisk, loop holes, fast talking small print will improve your offer. List the framework of those untouchable items so you’re able to share them. Learn how your business can be separated from your competitor. Need help? Ask your current customers. They’ll tell you why they do business with you.

Maker’s charged more than its competitors. In 1966 it ran an ad campaign with the tagline “It tastes expensive…and is.” The campaign helped position Maker’s as a “premium” bourbon.

Maker’s learned early in their business model to find their distinction and make it stick with emotion.   

What About Me?

Learn how you can uncover your differentiation piece in this Wicked Smart Podcast with Johnny Molson. He is a marketing consultant and partner in the Austin, Texas firm The Wizard of Ads. He has written, produced, and/or performed in about 11,842 ads from Chicago to Namibia to Shanghai to Portsmouth. He is the host of the Marketing Musings Podcast and the author of Campaign-O-Matic.

Me and my team at Mid-West Family make it easy to help you determine what sets you apart and how to tell the most people who want your product or service. Give me a call or click.



Cedric Friesen

Husband, Dad, Boss, Leader, Fan. Cedric enjoys serving with the Kiwanis Club and on the board of the Hunger Task Force. He’s also been involved with numerous charity events and fundraisers through Mid-West Family. He’s true to Minnesota sports teams and tolerates most Wisconsin teams. When it comes to business Cedric loves win win win situations!

La Crosse Center debut

By Jean Taylor | December 16, 2021

After years of planning and a 2 year reconstruction project, at a cost of $42 million, the La Crosse Center opened to the public yesterday. The new project includes expansion of a new North Hall, […]

Read More

Pints for Pints

By Jean Taylor | November 17, 2021

We’ve teamed up with the American Red Cross, and the Pearl Street Brewery for “Pints for Pints” – 2 day Holiday Blood Drive!  Give the gift of life, and get rewarded with a complementary “pint” […]

Read More

No Tie

By Jean Taylor | October 21, 2021

Skip the fancy clothes and join us for a casual, very special night out! November 6th, at Piggy’s (Ballroom), we are in for a treat. A special night of food and beverage pairings, created by […]

Read More

Rounds for Rescues

By Jean Taylor | September 27, 2021

It was a beautiful fall day on the golf course to benefit the Coulee Region Humane Society! Thanks to everyone who joined us for Rounds for Rescues. Friday we delivered the proceeds, from the event, […]

Read More

CMN Radiothon

By Jean Taylor | September 22, 2021

Join Mid-West Family, as we embark on the largest local fundraising opportunity of the year for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Gundersen Health System! Hear from local children and families, helped by Children’s Miracle […]

Read More

Maple Leaf Parade Marshal – SAMANTHA STRONG

By Brian Jackson | September 17, 2021

Earlier this week, Oktoberfest announced that our very own Samantha Strong would be this year’s Maple Leaf Parade Marshal! There could NOT be a better choice. When she started at Z93 in 1986, the first […]

Read More