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Create Your Own “Secret Ingredient” to Stand Out From Competition

How can you separate yourself from the competition?

Shep Hyken is joined by Gigi Butler, the founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes, the largest cupcake franchise in the world, to discuss how she differentiated herself from the competition.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Branding is the experience a company offers, and to get people on board with a brand, a strong, passionate leader is necessary, along with a product people can connect with. In Butler’s case, she wants people to see, smell, and taste the passion she has for her cupcakes, whose recipes were passed down from generation to generation.
  • For Gigi’s Cupcakes, Butler wanted each cupcake to have its own personality, so her customers receive an immediate feeling, producing a memory. This is what differentiates one business from another. Companies must create products and experiences that connect with customers.
  • Butler’s book The Secret Ingredient, which is available for pre-order now, describes her journey from aspiring country music singer to cupcake entrepreneur. When music didn’t work out and she found herself cleaning other people’s homes (including Taylor Swift’s), she realized she should turn her passion—baking—into a business. Thus, Gigi’s Cupcakes was born.
  • If you want loyal customers, you need to remember that “one size does not fit all.” You need to provide options for everyone, even if it means allowing a customizable experience. This will ensure customers keep coming back. Butler does this by offering a wide variety – 278 flavors in Gigi’s Cupcakes’ catalog!
  • Something as simple as packaging plays an important role in the customer’s experience. Seeing recognizable packaging immediately makes you want that product. Your subconscious tells you there is something special inside it. For example, there is excitement and anticipation in opening the box that reveals your new iPhone – or, a delicious Gigi’s Cupcake.
  • Butler believes passion is a vital part of creating an excellent experience for customers. Without a purpose, it is nearly impossible to draw customers in and encourage them to come back.


“I think branding is, first of all, being recognizable and bringing joy.” – Gigi Butler

“When I did my packaging, I wanted it to be a little gift, something special inside.” – Gigi Butler

“It is all about passion, and it’s about selling what you believe, whether it’s a cupcake, a taco, a box or a phone.” – Gigi Butler


Gigi Butler is the founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes, the largest cupcake franchise in the world with over 100 locations. Her book, The Secret Ingredient: Recipes for Success in Business and Life, is available for pre-order now.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can you create an experience and a brand that people choose to follow?
  2. Why should you be different for your customer?
  3. How can I make impact on my customers?
  4. Why is offering a variety of value to customers?
  5. How can you provide your customers with the right packaging?

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