There is a lot of chatter about the importance of uniqueness, that a business needs to be unique to succeed (which is true – unless you are happy to be in a price war). And we know firsthand that this can seem really overwhelming. It can create a lot of angst about whether your business is viable, whether it is ‘unique’ enough and what its actual uniqueness is.
“Whatever you do, be different.” ― Anita Roddick
Considering the plethora of businesses these days it’s never been more important to stand out – so we understand where all that angst is coming from.
Today we want to delve into ‘uniqueness’ to try and put some of those fears and stresses at bay. And show you the exact process we use to establish unique points of difference for a business.
What uniqueness isn’t
Ok, so we are not saying that to be unique you need to have the only product or service of its kind in the world. Let’s face it, that is a REALLY tall order. Apart from which if it is truly the only one maybe there isn’t a market for it at all.
Plenty of businesses have found huge success and become iconic without being one of a kind. I mean, Nike didn’t invent shoes right? So if you have been beating yourself up about this don’t worry, you don’t need to invent some never-seen-before-whizz-bang product.
What uniqueness is
Uniqueness is the way you deliver your product or service that makes you stand out from others (in a good way) so that people engage with your business, over someone else’s. It could also be the way you make your product, the type of ingredients you use or your unique methodology. It could be that you have a distinguishing story behind the launch of your business. There are lots of ways to infuse your individuality.
And the key here is that it doesn’t have to be one single thing. Having one point of difference that is truly unique is quite difficult.
At The Brand Brigade we focus on what are the 3 key points of difference that combined together make you unique. It’s much harder to run into a competitor that has the same positioning when you are combining 3 key factors to be meaningfully different to your audience.
Determining your unique points of difference
Here is a good exercise to start exploring what your unique factors may be:
- GATHER. You need to write a list of all the key distinguishing features of your product / service.
- EXPAND. Push yourself to go beyond what first comes to mind – come up with 5 to 10. Consider all parts of your business around your product/service. For example it could be something about the ritual of receiving the product that is special beyond the product itself. It could be something about your personal experience, that is particularly relevant to the service you deliver. If you are finding this hard reach out to some key customers – ask them what it is they love about working with you.
- BENEFITS. For each feature consider what does this mean for your audience? How does it help or impact them. Write that next to the feature. If it’s something you feel is unique but that they don’t actually care about it, cross it off the list.
- REVIEW. Review the list now, what are the 3 features that stand out the most? Which ones really matter to the customer and set you apart from others in combination?
- REFLECT. And if that exercise has highlighted there isn’t anything unique about your business this is a great opportunity to consider changes you may need to make. To help you have a read of our article the importance of differentiation in branding.
Communicating your uniqueness
Now, remember the really cool kid at school? They were kinda effortlessly cool… they never said they were cool, that would have made them, well, instantly uncool. You need to embody your uniqueness, need to express it through your content, infuse it into what you create. Not say ‘hey, we are unique because of 1, 2 and 3’. Well, you can say it like that but no-one will listen, you need to show it through everything you do.
To give you an example let’s explore how we are unique – at The Brand Brigade.
Are we the only people helping entrepreneurs build their businesses? No. But for us our 3 unique factors (in combination) that set us apart;
- Jodie and Em. We feel the dynamics of there being two of us is beneficial for our audience, we bring different perspectives and together makes for a playful, fun learning experience.
- Our experience. We have built a multi-million dollar agency and worked on over 300 brands. We aren’t teaching from some lofty academic perspective.
- We are passionate about supporting women. Both through our products but also by using the money we raise to support entrepreneurial women in disadvantaged communities. We believe in businesses doing good.
Jodie + Em xx