Cupcake Royale, the powerful cupcake empire in Seattle wasn’t sitting idly by and watching Molly Moon of cool ice cream fame to walk all over them. But rather than trying to envisioning the future and coming up with the next big thing, Royale just added ice cream. Low blow across the bow of Molly Moon, which has slowly been expanding into all the important neighborhoods in Seattle and taking aim at the hipster status previously owned by Royale.

Will Molly Moon respond by adding cupcakes to their shop, or will they be more creative and add hot dogs or something?

We will be standing by watching this in amazement, eating out Top Pot doughnuts and smiling.

But on a serious note, this is an interesting challenge for small business owners.

It’s hard to find a trend that resonates with customers, if you find one, ride the wave for as long as you can. But, what is your moat? What is your unique business proposition that makes you stand out from the crowd an what can you use to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Just making cupcakes is easy, anyone can do that. Building a business around it just takes really good marketing, and I say the word ‘just’ with air quotes. Good marketing is not easy. But it’s something that can be bought and it certainly doesn’t create a moat. Not even for Apple.

Having a product that is unique and well-researched, one requires a specific skill or unique proposition creates a moat, but of course is not the winning ticket, you still need killer marketing and need to catch the wave of trend. Don’t misinterpret uniqueness with being the only one interested in something, that’s being outside the trend and no one will care about your product.

So, of course you need many ingredients for a good soup, but at the core lies above good marketing, good trend research a solid product idea. The special sauce that will make your audience not turn away in a few years and catch the next wave, but stick with you for a long time. Creating raving fans in necessary, creating lifelong partners is what builds a solid foundation for the future of your business.

What’s your moat that prevent the competition from copying your business?