the only, only?

 

Love songs proclaim you’re the only one but in business it’s not often the case. Do your customers identify you as the only one? Fill in these blanks: Our brand is the only _________ that _________. In the first blank put the name of your category (software training company, auto cooling parts supplier, sign company). In the second blank put the thing that truly differentiates you (that empowers Linux training, that delivers overnight, has offices throughout the west). Can your competitors make the same claim? We’re talking about significant differentiation. “Quality since 1930,” may be a differentiator, but it has limited beneficial value and everybody claims quality.

In my journalism classes at the University of Utah we were taught to get out the primary facts in the first paragraph of a news story. The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. The technique tells the reader whether the rest of the story is worth reading. The same approach tells your customer whether they should be interested in your products or services. Here’s how brand strategist, Marty Neumeir describes the process for Harley-Davidson:

What:The only motorcycle manufacturer

How:that makes big, loud motorcycles

Who:for macho guys (and macho “wannabees”)

Where:mostly in the United States

Why:who want to join a gang of cowboys

When:in an era of decreasing personal freedom.

Taking our own medicine, here’s how modern8 fits the bill:

What:The only graphic design firm

How:that offers strategic consultation (in addition to creative services)

Who:for B2B inbound marketing communications

Where:in Utah

Why:who want to re-position their business

When:in an era of un-differentiated, look-alike competitors

Your own “only, only” statement becomes the litmus test against future brand decisions and keeps you on target and on message.