As you work to create a distinctive brand strategy, it is critical to understand not only what distinctive means, but why it is important. A dictionary definition is, “having a special quality, style or attractiveness“. This definition is perfect for the purpose of building a brand strategy.
Special Quality: Your brand’s special quality is its Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It is the thing that makes it different from the competition. It may be the offering of an incomparable product, or the solving of a problem in an unique way. It is the thing that makes you stand out.
Style: Your brand’s style could also be called its visual brand. It is what people see (logo, colors, shapes, lines) and what they use to trigger memories about your brand. It should be unlike no other and send subtle, yet effective messages about your brand’s promise, mission, values, vision and more.
Attractiveness: This is not so much about looking good, as it is about being magnetic. Your target audience members are looking for some very specific things (whether they know it or not). When you are building a brand strategy around those needs, they will pick up on that and be attracted to your brand.
Include these three elements, and you will be on your way to building a distinctive brand strategy.
Things to Consider to Create a Distinctive Brand Strategy
Now, just thinking about being different is rarely enough to make your brand a “good kind of different.” Without purpose and a full understanding of what your ideal client wants, you are likely to miss the mark. However, combine your desire (and need) to be distinctive with your desire to solve a problem in a way that is uniquely YOU—and relieve a pain or increase pleasure for your target audience—and you’re more likely to hit the mark.
Following are some points to consider for thinking differently about building a brand strategy:
- If anyone tells you, “You’re expected to do it this way,” show them the door. Doing what you are expected to do is no way to get noticed. In fact, it is a terrific way to fail miserably, as you struggle to gain a level of attention for your brand that will result in the sales necessary to keep you afloat. Do something new. Or do something old in a new, unexpected way. Make them turn their heads, and you will be on your way to holding their attention.
- Disregard anyone who says, “You’re not comparable to your competition.” Comparable is a fancy word for the same old thing. When you are the same as your competition, buyers will have no distinctive factors to use when making purchasing decisions and the choice is likely to come down to price. Getting into a price war with your competition is not only exhausting, it takes energy away from the development of a USP. It also causes ideal clients to look away from your brand and toward something more interesting.
- Move toward those who say, “That is interesting,” or “I’ have never seen it done that way before.” And…if you are doing what you’ are doing from the heart, then you have not only found your USP, you are building a brand strategy that will compete through uniqueness. You will have to work less to get the visibility you need to be successful. Word of mouth advertising will be easy to come by and promote, because people will want to talk about this exciting new thing (or new way of doing something). In other words, look for points of interest. Acknowledge them. Nurture them. Grow them into something brilliant.
- Back away from marketing “professionals” who steer you toward the conventional. Conventional never made history. Conventional never made anyone a salary that (impressively) exceeds a living wage. Start thinking in opposites and play with ways to not only fulfill your WHY, but to attract attention with a new kind of experience or way of solving a problem. The problem or the product may be conventional, but that does not mean the delivery or the execution has to be.
If you are looking for more inspiration about building a brand strategy that is distinctive—and therefore, more credible, visible and profitable, simply request a Business Explosion session for an experience that will change the way other people perceive your brand.