From as early as you can remember, you were told you were individually special. And growing up, you were supposed to find what makes you unique and utilize it.
Any business resource you read will even tell you that a “unique factor” is how companies distinguish themselves from their competition and win customers. (Disney- a magical experience, Apple- innovating the way people live, Google- the ultimate information hub, etc.).
So, where’s the uniqueness in local government? It shouldn’t be “leading edge” when a community decides to find its niche and capitalize on it—that should be the norm.
Just because local governments or other organizations don’t necessarily have a product to sell or direct “competition” doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a distinct identity. If you’re struggling to find one, these tips may give you some ideas:
- Pay close attention to the needs (or wants) of your public.
Your community is unique because of the people who live in it. What can you provide to them that they’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere?
(Pet-friendly facilities for an animal-loving community, unique ways to stay in touch with the local government for more younger or tech-savvy communities, etc.)
- Host an annual event that is fun for the whole family.
All major cities and thriving suburbs have at least one annual event in which people from all age groups can participate. Festivals, runs, fairs, and concerts geared towards your public are great ways to brand your community.
- Go the extra mile with customer service.
If budget or time is an issue, this final tip will leave you with no more excuses.
Let the outstanding way your employees treat everyone they encounter be what sets your organization apart. Teach your employees to serve the public to the best of their abilities—even if the problem isn’t directly related to their job title or department. Instead of saying “You’re welcome” at Chick-fil-A restaurants, their employees say, “My pleasure.” Maybe you could develop a similar way of speaking that becomes unique to your organization.
What would you add to this list, and what makes your organization stand out from the rest?