During a recent Brand Assessment exercise, our team was reviewing a business that faces a common dilemma; in an ever increasing field of “me too” competitors, what is the secret to really “standing out”. The textbook answer of course, is identifying the “Optimal Brand Differential”. A Brand Differential is something thing that you do better than the competition, AND is highly desired by the consumer. But in order to have people EXPERIENCE your Brand Differential, you’ve also got to first “attract their attention.” That’s where the power of an attention getting “Identity” comes in. And recently, I was reminded of the power of a “Stand Out Identity” in a funny way at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. One of the first shows we covered this year was set up as a “Presentation”. In a presentation, models walk out and pose for photographers for about 5 minutes. Then they leave and a new batch comes in. On this particular day, I noticed that I seemed to be getting a lot more “attention” from models than some of the other photographers. At first, I chided myself for “imagining such a ridiculous thing. After all, “Andre” (my Fashion Week persona) is certainly not world famous”. Nor am I young or hip. But for some inexplicable reason, it seemed like each model was spending more time in front of my camera and they actually seemed to be “responding” more to my lens. The mystery stuck with me till the end of our day when our Talent, Mal Pearson strolled over to the pit and took a picture of me alongside my “pals”. Later when I saw the shot, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the extra attention was for a very simple reason. Almost everyone else around me was dressed in Black or white, but with a bright red shirt on, I definitely stood out in the crowd. Take Home: As Apple used to say, “Be Different”. It doesn’t guarantee you the sale, but it sure does help you to get a shot. Literally.