This is the second in a two-part series discussing the importance of creating distinctive, irreplaceable products and services.

In part one of this series, we discussed the importance of offering distinct products and services, as opposed to generic. This is the key to breaking free of the cycle of competing on price. When your products or services are uniquely valuable, consumers are willing to pay premium rates for them—because they can’t get them anywhere else.

This concept poses a problem for many business owners, because only a small percentage of us offer products and services that are truly unique. But as Apple proved when their iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market and 1-800-Got-Junk proved in the rubbish removal business, just because other people are providing something doesn’t mean that you can’t approach it in a new and innovative way.

Here are three ways to position yourself as unique and distinctive – even if your products and services are fundamentally the same as those offered by your competition:

  1. Innovation. is another classic example of innovation. When they launched their business in 1995, they were one book seller among thousands. But their utilization of the internet was a game-changer – and 17 years later, they are the dominant force in the marketplace. How can you improve the products or services that you offer in order to make them unique?

  2. Expert positioning. Another option is to position yourself and your business as the leading expert in your marketplace. There are dozens of landscapers in your town, for instance, but if you can position yourself as the expert, you’ll have the ability to charge premium rates and still win the business. How can you accomplish this? Create a website that positions you as an expert. Start an industry-centered blog. Write and publish a book. Look for opportunities to appear on local radio stations or in the newspaper. Take advantage of opportunities to speak at seminars, networking events, and other gatherings. Position yourself as an expert and even if your services are fundamentally the same as your competition, perception makes all of the difference!

  3. Exceptional service. The majority of businesses in this country fall flat when it comes to customer service. Customers are routinely made to feel like an afterthought, like their questions and concerns are sources of irritation. This is great news for you, because it represents an incredible opportunity. Build a service-oriented culture, and as the word spreads about your business, you’ll find that the service you provide positions you as unique, even if everything else about your business is generic.

You don’t have to sell one-of-a-kind products or offer rare services in order to position your business as unique and distinctive. In fact, finding an uncommon way to do a common thing is often enough to turn you into a millionaire.