Differentiating your business from others in the same market space is critical to making your prospects remember and choose you. The key to differentiation is hanging your hat on something noteworthy that will garner attention. Normally, this is done by distilling out your value proposition and showing how you bring value to the table that has an edge over your competitors. It’s also possible to create a difference that is an interesting talking point as illustrated by the example I want to share today.
On a recent trip to the Washington D.C. area, I stayed in the suburb of Elkridge Maryland. When dinnertime rolled around, I googled to find an appealing local eatery. Since my preference is for locally-owned ethnic restaurants (on the same trip I also ate Vietnamese pho and Ethiopian), the listing for the R&R Taqueria piqued my interest, plus – it was right across the way from my hotel.
When I got there, I realized that the taqueria was in a gas station. It split the space with the convenience store, but was completely separate, and had its own entrance. I went in, and was greeted by a clean, modern kitchen that felt similar to a Chipotle, but the overall space was much cozier. In fact, the only seating was a half-dozen stools along a counter on the outside wall. The look, the clientele, the reviews on the wall from the Washington Post and others, as well as the enticing smell said “This experience isn’t easily classifiable.”
As I perused the menu and ordered my food, I took a closer look at the framed reviews. Definitely not your typical gas station food. When I finally got everything back to the hotel and was able to dive in, it was absolutely delicious. I found myself wanting to recommend it to others for the food, but found that it also had a nifty, buzz-worthy quality due to its unusual combination of great cooking and unorthodox setting. And the more I thought about it, the more I found myself wanting to talk about it to explain that interesting combo. Great food is worth talking about, but great food with an unorthodox setting: marketing gold. The proprietor/chef had created a viral conversation piece.
It captured the attention of the Food Network, and got them a nice profile segment: