section 0001 {declassified}

Set Yourself Apart Instead of Competing

Photo by Goran Ivos on Unsplash

Topic: Branding

There are plenty of reasons why you should be unique. In this reading, I explain how it can help you not compete on prices anymore and set you up. Also, other brands will start to have to play catch up with you. I also give you a fun (but very challenging) exercise to test your uniqueness.

September 16, 2019 19:38

Author: 
Josiah

Remember earlier when we talked about being a beacon for your people? If not, it pretty much means to take a stance and stick it. To let your personality shine through to better align with people and get away from the competition.

This post expands on that. When I get to work with brands, especially ones just starting, I get them to double down on differentiating. We do this with things like purpose, passion, commitment, and strategic differentiation. Stick around to the end, we will give you an exercise to do.

Taking this approach and doubling down can help you win over less committed rivals. The goal is to position yourself in a way that you can defend and have the advantage, leaving the competition to play catch up, if at all.

The reason why this is so important is that when your offering is unique and compelling, you won’t need to compete on price. To further this, your personality needs to align with them as well. You will then move to the ONLY one in their mind when it comes to what you offer. You just need to compete for attention.

What do you think of when you think of electric cars? Probably Tesla. For me, Elon Musk’s personality and his vision have left me only looking for a Tesla when it comes to an electric vehicle. Even though there have been some other nice offerings, they just don’t have the tribe and passion that Tesla has behind it that makes it even more unique.

This is called a state of onlyness.

When you are the “only” in your category, you get to set the pace that the following competitors will have to try to catch up to.

This allows you to start small and dominate a niche that builds a community. Remember that nod of the audience we mentioned earlier? This is where you start building those loyal fans that will buy anything from you and spread the word for you. You will start to attract like-minded people.

Okay, so now that exercise. This is one part of our strategy sessions that we picked up from Marty Neumeier. It is called the Only Sentence.

Our brand is the only _____ that ____.

In the first blank, put the name of your category. In the second, put how you are different. Don’t use any “ands” or commas. They start to take away from why you are different.

Hopefully, this exercise helps you out!

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