Owning your brand’s originality seems like an easy task and while positioning (articulating that originality) is the foundation of the branding process it is the single most overlooked component. We know that may be hard to believe, but we can say that considering we work with clients that opted out of doing the heady work (the beast that defining a brand’s unicorn can be) and now are spending money, time and energy in rework because, surprise, their messaging isn’t resonating because that messaging is random, boring, or simply unoriginal.
Positioning creates perception, and perception, in many cases, creates people’s reality. It is very difficult to change a first impression. Individuals need to put things in boxes. This includes you, your business, your product, and your service. These “boxes” help others decide how they feel about your brand. People form an opinion—positive or negative—that is just what they do.
Wouldn’t it be beneficial to help steer that opinion? What is your brand’s WHY or as we like to call it around here your only-ness? You need to ask yourself, how does my brand stand out like no other in the same space?
Only-ness is not a new buzzword. It has been around for years. Getting to the heart of your only-ness requires you to dig deep to figure out what your (or your product/service) does that no one could find anywhere else!
Most brands (both personal and corporate) have difficulty assessing and defining at a granular level what their only-ness is. Sometimes because they are too close to it to truly see it, or oftentimes they think they are one-of-a-kind only to be led through some discovery and come upon the very realization that eight of their competitors have defined similar differentiators.
With our clients we find that they are great at knowing and describing their brand in generalities but they struggle with specificity. You can be bold and innovative but if you cannot articulate WHY you are different from all the others that say that they are bold and innovative, then those traits are essentially worthless. See what we mean?
If we define only-ness as it pertains to bringing a product or service to market, then visualize it as the manner in which you bring your “big idea” to life. Your brand’s only-ness must be strong and truly unique in a sea of the same, and you must find the means to make it resonate, whatever its ultimate goal is, to make change or a difference, mollify a pain point, provide inspiration, offer a prescription for success…the objectives are endless.
So what’s your brand’s only-ness, do you know? If you do, embrace it wholeheartedly and be sure you are connecting the dots for your network or customers by shouting it to the hilltops. If you don’t, you absolutely need to. Your only-ness is essential to your brand’s long-term success, so make it a priority, pronto, to spend time doing due diligence figuring it out, then be sure that your brand oozes it.
No one can do business the way your brand can: its’ story, its’ values, its’ approach work and its’ experience all combine to make your brand noteworthy, valuable and remarkable. It is your job to unearth what makes your brand tick, why anyone should care and then ensure that its originality is seen, heard and felt in through as many touch points as possible.