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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  June 22, 2017

How to Differentiate Your Ideas

How to Differentiate Your Ideas

Many thought leaders focus on big-picture principals in their blogs and articles. The problem: The findings sound too “30,000 feet” to position the author as brilliant. In fact, when interested readers do a deep dive, the writer can come off like old wine in a new bottle.

What to do instead: Frame your findings. This Strategy+Business article is a great example of how to set up your ideas for differentiation. Move past the focus on manufacturing industry. Here are a couple ways to adapt from the author’s playbook:

• Stress what is no longer important. The authors set up the emotional context when announcing that economies of scale and conventional divisions of labor will not be key drivers. This is a huge pronouncement that immediately warns the reader that foundational philosophies are no longer relevant. It’s much different than saying, “Hey, big changes are ahead.”


Listen: 2 things your context must do


• Combine hope with a warning. Everyone leaves the reader with a path forward. These authors go one step further by mixing that hope with a warning: Yes, there are potential gains, but only to those who act in the early years. The former shows the upside; the latter creates urgency to act. The upshot: Do something different or get left behind.

There’s a lot of content out there about what’s next—principals and ways of thinking. To differentiate your ideas, the setup is more important than the findings. If you don’t provide killer context, your 30,000-foot view will sound like everyone else’s.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.