The famous fast-food McBurger has at least two of things that sets it apart from all the other burgers on all the other menus. First, there is the song (how many other sandwiches have a song??) which basically tells you everything that comes on the burger and the order in which it is assembled. And second, there is the Special Sauce.
The Special Sauce Sets Everything Apart
The Special Sauce is the only thing in the list of ingredients that isn’t self-explanatory. Everything else is standard. You could get any burger at any restaurant by asking for this individual items — but what is Special Sauce?
Special Sauce the unique element that sets apart the mundane. It is the addition ingredient that changes the usual to the unusual. A burger with cheese, lettuce, pickle, and onion? Ordinary. Add Special Sauce, and now it’s extraordinary.
What Sets You Apart From Everyone Else?
You might sell insurance or cars or mattresses or grocery store shelving or radio advertising. People can get those things by going to Google and finding a dozen providers of those very products and services just on the first page of results. Your Special Sauce is what convinces the people shopping for the thing you sell to call you because of that singular differentiating element.
My Special Sauce is Creativity
I realized a long time ago that I look at the world just a little bit differently, and that I’m adept at making creative connections between seemingly unrelated items and coming up with something new. The unusual perspective helps me identify opportunities for my clients and solutions to challenges they are facing. When I’m promoting my business or whatever it is I might be selling at the moment (be it store shelves or radio ads), I don’t focus on the commodity product or service (I don’t pitch the lettuce or onions) they can buy from anyone — I spotlight the Special Sauce that sets me apart.
What is Your Special Sauce?
Make a list of the items on your company’s “menu”. Are they all the same kinds of ingredients you’d find on all of your competitors’ list of products and services? Can you spot an item on your menu that has some Special Sauce? How can you make it stand out from the items your competition offers? Perhaps you can trademark a name for it. Perhaps you could write a catchy jingle.
Identify your Special Sauce (or formulate a recipe for a new Special Sauce) and see if you can get your customers singing about it at the top of their lungs!
Here is a playlist with two classic McDonald’s commercials featuring the Big Mac jingle. As a kid I probably saw these commercials dozens of times, but it wasn’t until I dug them up online for this article that I noticed the foreshadowing of what would be a hilarious “Cincinnati connection”. Can you spot it?