(Photo courtesy iStockphoto.com)

I read marketing about products and services all day long and find that so much of it is the same. In a business journal earlier this year I wrote an article, “Brand Versus Bland” and pointed out that there is a vast difference between them. Advertisers have created their own unbelieving marketplace by either overstating what their products could do or not working at finding the unique selling proposition that truly set their products apart.

On one hand, it is hard work at times to find a solution that is truly different from anything else on the market; on the other hand, in this age of micro-niche marketing, there are untold numbers of untapped markets that brands could flourish in IF someone were to think through how to craft a brand story that draws attention. One effective way is to evoke a hero and associate your brand with it.

Creating a hero that sets a product apart in a meaningful way differentiates it from its competition. Or your product could become the hero if it stands for something people believe in.  Take the photograph of the fireman. A company who makes the gear a fireman wears is an instant winner because of 9/11 undertones that still vibrate our society.

Knowing which images and stories will set your brand apart is the tricky part. But once you solve this puzzle, it can bring you years of brand building your market is sure to reward.