Following your competitive analysis, it’s time to hone in on your “unique selling proposition.” That’s just professional jargon for what makes your brand different from—and preferable to—all the competition.
Lots of businesses try to stand for everything. They claim to be the the fastest, the cheapest, the friendliest, the most honest, the biggest, the brightest, and the best, all wrapped up in one amazing industry-shattering package.
This is a mistake. No brand has the highest quality and the lowest prices. No brand provides the fastest and the most personalized service. Some elements inherently just don’t go together.
When you attempt to be known for everything, you don’t become known for anything.
Any business can find a unique selling proposition in one of these categories:
- Product or service characteristics
- Price structure
- Placement strategy (location and distribution)
- Promotional strategy
Charles Revson, founder of the Revlon cosmetics empire, famously said his company made makeup but sold hope. Some airlines sell friendly service, others sell reliable on-time service. Neiman Marcus sells luxury, while Walmart sells bargains.
Hanes L’Eggs hosiery offers a classic example of a unique selling proposition in the “placement strategy” category. Once upon a time, hosiery was only sold in department stores. Hanes figured a consumer staple like pantyhose would sell well alongside other staples, so the company opened new distribution channels in supermarkets and drug stores. And it worked out pretty well.
Your branding strategy should be founded on your unique selling proposition. Nail down that one key thing you do better than your competition and clearly convey it in your logo, tag line, website design, marketing and advertising, and other branding.