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Monday matters: Nailing brand uniqueness

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Monday is a great time to think big picture. You’re fresh from some rest (hopefully) and not yet bogged down in your day-to-day routine. Don’t waste this glorious freshness on your in-box. Before you get into your tactical to-do list for the week, take this moment to pause and think about strategy. I will post a thought to get you started each Monday.

This week let’s talk about your company brand and its uniqueness. A good brand is definitively differentiated from other brands in its category. This Forbes article by Jason DeMers on the Top 7 Characteristics of Successful Brands is a good primer on the  most important features of a good brand, including uniqueness.

If you’re using another brand to compare your company to as a means to describe what you do, you’re on the wrong track toward a unique brand identity. For instance, Microsoft Bing describes itself as being like Google, only faster. Why couldn’t they come up with a unique and compelling way to describe what they do? Why settle for being a runner-up? Denise Lee Yonh, describes this well in her Harvard Business Review article: Don’t Settle for Being an “-er” brand.

“Red flags go up whenever I hear a pitch that explains how a new offering is just like another but is small-er, bigg-er, thinn-er, light-er, fast-er, sexi-er, whatev-er. Hearing “we’re just like X brand but we’re…” sets off warning signals about breakthrough ability and long-term viability.”

If this is happening in your business, don’t just change the language in your marketing. Look inside your product development and the growth strategy for the future—are you thinking big enough? Are you innovative? Happy Monday.

Photo by loop_oh via Flckr