1. Be the Greenest company

It seems to me that every business is now environmentally conscious.    And every business wants to find green vendors.  But again, I think you are going to have to go all out.  Instead of creating a product that uses 10% less energy, make it so the entire product – including packaging – is 100% recyclable.  Sure it’s a bit more difficult, and might require a bit more design work, but you will blow your competitors away with a more compelling story.

2.  Be the Healthiest company

Naked Pizza, a New Orleans based pizza restaurant bills itself as the healthiest pizza in the world.  They don’t have 10% less fat than pizza made by Pizza Hut or Domino’s.  They use whole grain dough and skim milk mozzeralla.  They don’t use any additives or preservatives.  They are avid Twitter users, and their platform “Healthiest Pizza in the World” has allowed them to dominate Twitter.

3.  Have the Least Features

Most of us have heard the 37 Signals story thousands of times.  So let me bring your attention to the Nintendo Wii.  While all of their competitors were creating controllers with more buttons and multi directional pads, the Wii created a controller with 3 buttons, one directional pad, and an extremely innovative gyroscope.

4.  Be the Cheapest

Very rarely do I suggest a company be the cheapest.  Having the cheapest product or service isn’t about dropping the price.  Like the rest of these distinctions, it’s about building an entire business model that distinction.  In it’s early days, Dell was the cheapest because they eliminated the middle man (retail stores).  This caused them to completely rethink the sales and distribution model for personal computers. For a long time, this was a killer competitive advantage.

5.  Be the Most Expensive

If you do decide to go this route, you need a really good reason to be the most expensive.  Ferrari works because everything is hand made, the seats are hand sewn, even the engine block is hand finished.  Every car can be customized to fit exactly what it is you want:  From the color of the car, to having an electric cooler in the trunk.

6.  Give away for free what others are selling

We’ve all seen the Match.com and eHarmony commercials on television.  Most of the time they are offering some kind of introductory offer before you have to pay $25 per month.  Plenty of Fish is a dating service that is free to join and free to use for eternity.  It makes its money selling ads on the site.  Have you ever noticed that you’ve never seen a Plenty of Fish commercial on television?

This is clearly not an all inclusive list.  What would you add?