In a world filled with apples, if you want to boost your profits and grow your business, you need to be a big, juicy orange. In simplest terms, here’s the strategy: Set yourself apart.

No matter what business you’re in, the last thing you want to be is perceived as a commodity. Why? Because people buy commodities based on price alone, and that is the least profitable, most unrewarding arena to play in.

When you’re a commodity, the only way to get clients to buy from you is to offer the lowest price, and that does two really negative things. First, obviously, it cuts into your profit margin. Every time you lower your price, you lose valuable margin. But what’s even worse, the second negative—the customers you gain by winning on price have no loyalty. As soon as they find what you offer for a lower price, they’re “outta there.”

The name of the game to boost your profits and really grow your business is customer retention, and you’ll never score customer retention when you’re a commodity . . . when you’re like all the other apples. Your repeat customers are your most profitable ones, and I’ve preached a lot about the importance of getting your customers to stick with you.