How To Find Ideas That Differentiate Your Content

Let’s play a phrase affiliation sport. When you hear, “Start with why,” what involves thoughts?

If it’s Simon Sinek, you’re not alone. Since 2009, his TED Talk has been considered over 60 million occasions, and his book Start With Why made bestseller lists.

Mark Levy, founding father of Levy Innovation, helped Simon conceive Start With Why.

A self-described differentiation professional, Mark helps companies, manufacturers, and thought leaders develop the concept they’ll be recognized for.

He shared the method he makes use of with shoppers in his Content Marketing World 2022 presentation, How To Come Up With Your Big Sexy Idea.

Differentiation requires greater than an concept

Differentiation generates consideration, consciousness, and recall that may result in enterprise alternatives. It can apply to a enterprise (i.e., broad) or a chunk of content material (i.e., slender).

The “big sexy idea” turns into your signature.

“The idea calls up the person, and the person calls up the idea,” Mark explains. “Anyone who comes across the idea has to seek you out because you embody that idea. You represent that idea in people’s minds.”

Your big sexy idea becomes your signature. The idea calls up the person, and the person calls up the idea, says @LevyInnovation via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

How does differentiation result in enterprise alternatives? People make snap judgments. If your signature concept connects with a target market, they’re extra more likely to begin a dialog with you or contact your enterprise regardless that they know little else about you.

But it’s not sufficient to be recognized for the differentiating concept. Mark says you should be the definitive supplier of it. You must characterize the total efficiency of the concept, not a pale weight-reduction plan model that would have come from a number of individuals.

Simon does that nicely. What I keep in mind most from his Start With Why TED Talk wasn’t the three-word tagline. It was his repetition of this line: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”


If we study to start out with WHY, and share the explanations that we’re passionate for our work, we give individuals a possibility to attach with us on a deeper, extra human stage. People don’t purchase what we do, they purchase WHY we do it.

— Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) August 5, 2021

For me, that mixture cemented the affiliation between the idea and Simon.

Examples of private and model differentiation

Mark supplied one other instance of an individual intently related to a differentiating concept. Mel Robbins is an professional in change and motivation who turned recognized for The 5 Second Rule. Her huge attractive concept is that we’re all simply 5 seconds away from a distinct life.

Mel launched this concept in a TED Talk, as Simon did, and later turned it right into a best-selling book.

According to Mel’s website, “The 5 Second Rule is the secret to changing anything about your life. You can use the Rule and its countdown method to break any bad habit, interrupt self-doubt and negative self-talk, and push yourself to take the actions that will change your life.”

While Simon and Mel’s huge attractive concepts apply to people, Mark says that the idea works for firms and types, too.

An instance of an enormous attractive concept from a B2B advertising firm is FlipMyFunnel. Conceived by Terminus co-founder Sangram Vajre, FlipMyFunnel evangelized account-based advertising (ABM). (Terminus is a vendor of ABM software program).

The FlipMyFunnel concept fueled annual conferences, a Slack neighborhood, and a podcast. Although the occasions and podcast have ended, the phrase “flip my funnel” nonetheless calls Sangram Vajre, Terminus, and account-based advertising to thoughts. More powerfully, I nonetheless use the phrase to clarify ABM – pursuing targeted, named accounts relatively than concentrating on a broad viewers.

How to create your huge attractive concept

To create an enormous attractive concept, Mark encourages groups or people to attempt his two-part “envy” train. Here’s the way it works.

Step 1: Get offended or envious

Think of a time while you got here throughout an concept and thought, “Wait a second, that’s my idea.” You might need gotten offended and felt envy. Mark felt this when he got here throughout Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, a ebook printed in 2007 by brothers Chip and Dan Heath.

Mark had been talking about a few of the similar ideas the Heath brothers coated. The brothers didn’t steal his work – they didn’t even learn about Mark. Still, Mark turned offended that his concepts had been unintentionally coopted.

Mark says an emotional response (e.g., anger or envy) might be revealing. Stop and ask your self:

  • What’s taking place on this state of affairs?
  • What am I considering on this state of affairs?

Your solutions can generate concepts that can result in your huge attractive concept.

So consider an concept that you just envy and write it down.

To find your big sexy idea: Think of an idea someone (or brand) is known for that made you feel like it should have been yours, says @LevyInnovation via @dshiao and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Step 2: Make the concept your individual

Next, construct in your concept to make it distinctive and differentiating. In doing so, it’d morph into a brand new idea. Mark helps illustrate this with a narrative.

Just a few years in the past, Mark had a possibility to submit a response to a Fast Company author who was doing an article about be an excellent enterprise conversationalist.

Mark knew that dozens of specialists would ship solutions to the reporter. He additionally knew that if his solutions gave the impression of everybody else’s, he had little likelihood of being quoted. He determined his response didn’t should be higher than the others – it simply needed to be completely different.

Mark compares the idea to a foot-high deli sandwich. It’s not essentially a better-tasting sandwich, however its uniqueness attracts traces of individuals ready to purchase and take images of it.

Mark’s response to the Fast Company author differentiated itself from the others, and it labored. Over 60% of what he submitted appeared within the article.

Here are the three questions important to refining your huge attractive concept:

  • What do I learn about this topic that 80% of the market doesn’t?
  • What does my viewers know however haven’t thought to say?
  • What does my viewers must know?

To differentiate your #Content, think about what you know that 80% of the market doesn’t, says @LevyInnovation via @dshiao and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Your huge attractive concept is just not for everybody

By this level within the train, you’ve recalled seeing somebody publish or promote an concept much like certainly one of yours. If it made you offended that somebody acquired to it first, you’re in all probability heading in the right direction.

You’ve additionally improved on that concept by including components that you recognize extra about than different individuals, that folks know however haven’t thought to say, and that folks don’t know however must know.

At this level, you would possibly really feel the urge to broaden your concept to attraction to everybody. But that might be a mistake. As Mark explains, “A large population would twist you into a pretzel – into something you’re not.”

Instead, Mark says, take into consideration your concept the way in which The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia thought about the band’s music: “Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”

Now, go discover your huge attractive concept.

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 Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute