Have you ever heard of Joey Holiday?
If you're a trucker you probably have. He plays "Truckin' Music", and he stays within that. Listening to these songs, you can almost feel the wind in your hair and the pride of being the lion of the highway. It's Country twang, and you can almost hear the shifting of gears, while the songs set the tone for your 8 hours of getting the job done.
Joey has found a niche that fits him.....If you don't live this lifestyle, they'd see right through you. He has found a market that is constantly out there working, while listening to music. He has a customer base that is fanatic, and growing. The fans of this music LIVE it.....and the musicians they support do too.
This what I mean by differentiating yourself from the rest of the pack. Choose a style that fits you, so that you can be yourself, and never have a need to compromise your values (or lack thereof). But choose a way of presenting that style to focus your energy on people who will appreciate what you do, and support it.
Look at it this way......
James Taylor and Eric Clapton seem to be the choice for a certain group of listener.
Jimmy Buffet and Kenny Chesney seem to play a style that appeals to people of a certain attitude (or 'latitude', if you will).
Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Jamey Johnson speak for a particular group of people.
If you can recognize how these examples apply, I think you will be on your way to forming a BRAND. By playing it in your style, you will not please everyone......but those that do love you will be fanatic about it.
Find out where your heart is and play there. Most may not like you, but there are a few others who will have a voracious appetite for your presentation.......
.......and isn't that what we all want?