The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines generic as…

…not being or having a particular brand name…

…having no particularly distinctive quality or application.

If your business, service, or product is generic in the market, then your reputation doesn’t precede you.

You are brandless.

Google has created a perpetual cycle for SEO/SEM around generic and being unknown.

Google taught us how to search for the generic.

“Plumbing services near me…” And the game begins.

It’s just like the old days playing in my band on the Sunset Strip where you had to “pay to play,” imagine that! Today, Google and Facebook are the main club owners and own 80% of the audience attention for your “music.”

Does your brand want to be known for a generic term?

Generic is not specific.

Commodities are generic. Commodities in business are not the desired state.

Better to build a brand and be known in the market for something specific.

“Fred’s plumbing in Redondo Beach…” Now, that’s better.

And if you what you do is remarkable, people will tell their friends and family.

Your COMMUNITY SEO will increase, you’ll build a loyal tribe and your business will grow.

Sounds too easy right?

The easy part is making a decision to not be generic.

It’s the only way to be distinguishable in the eyes of the market.

Unless you want to make the only differentiator in your business your price, but that’s a very slippery slope –eventually it’s a race to the bottom, a zero-sum game.

The sage Warren Buffet explains it this way…

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Warren Buffet


For me, profundity is found in the dictionary.

So, please allow me to return to Websters for a moment to define what it means to be original….

…not secondary, derivative, or imitative…

…independent and creative in thought or action, inventive.

In marketing and business, being original is all about being authentic.

If you’re truly authentic, then you’re original.

Authenticity is all-powerful in life, business, and marketing.

The goal is not to be found in Google for a generic search term, one whose results are indistinguishable other than a ranking on a page.

Better to be known specifically as a brand that stands for something SPECIFIC….

…where consumers Google your brand or personal name…

…where you are sought after versus merely found on a list…

…where your reputation precedes you in the market.

Now, that’s original.

The Middle

Network effects like “the middle.”

The middle is where the market attention is being paid — the driving force that creates inertia and power.

Network effects have velocity and magnetism that keeps everyone coming back.

It’s a virtuous cycle.

All the biggest and most profitable brands in the world today enjoy network effects.

Value and utility is based on the number of users, the more the better.

Think, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Zillow, Apple — you get the idea.

The more people use the platform, the bigger it gets which increases the value.

Telephones are a great example of how network effects work — as more people used them, they became necessary for communication, boosting their value for the existing and future user base.

Communities have “local network effects,” much like a social media network.

If you’re a real estate agent, for example, growing your user base (database) is the easiest way to add value io your business. The bigger your user base and local network, the easier you can connect and engage with your community.

As your database users grow, more value is created.

If you focus on user growth, then over time you’ll have an engaged NETWORK which will definitely have a positive EFFECT on your business.

Until next time ~


Random & relevant thoughts on the state of marketing, branding, advertising that create momentum for business growth.