As you work on building a brand strategy, it’s important to understand not only what Distinctive means, but why it’s important.
Dictionary.com defines Distinctive as having a special quality, style or attractiveness. That’s perfect for the purpose of building a brand strategy. Allow me to explain:
- Special Quality: Your brand’s special quality is its USP, or Unique Selling Proposition. It’s the thing that makes it different from the competition. It might be the offering of an incomparable product, or the solving of a problem in a totally unique way. It’s the thing that makes you stand out.
- Style: Your brand’s style could also be called its visual brand. It’s what people see (logo, colours, 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 isn’t so much about looking good as about being magnetic. Your target audience members are looking for some very specific things (whether they know it or not). When you’re building a brand strategy around those needs, they will pick up on that and be attracted to your brand.
Employ these three elements, and you will be on your way to building a distinctive brand strategy. Need more? Good. Let’s get more specific.
Bound Off Toward Building a Distinct Brand Strategy
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’re 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.
Here are some bounding-off points for starting to think differently about building a brand strategy:
- To anyone who says, “You’re expected to do it this way,” show them the door. Doing what you’re expected to do is no way to get noticed. In fact, it’s 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’ll be on your way to keeping 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 whilst 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 and causes ideal clients to look away from your brand and toward something more interesting.
- Move toward those who say, “That’s interesting,” or “I’ve never seen it done that way before.” And…if you’re doing what you’re doing from the heart, then you’ve not only found a USP, you’re building a brand strategy that will compete through uniqueness. You’ll 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 pinpoints 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 doesn’t mean the delivery or the execution has to be.
Here’s a little video from Miles that might inspire you in building a brand strategy that’s different, inspiring, attention-getting…and distinctive:
Are you looking for more inspiration for building a brand strategy that’s distinctive—and therefore, more credible, visible and profitable? Then you simply must hop on over to our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp page and register today for an experience that will change the way you look at building a brand.