S2 Blog: Brand Identity: What makes you the ONLY?

2 min read
Mar 30, 2023 12:00:00 AM

Brand Identity: What makes you the ONLY?

brand clarity strategy Mar 30, 2023
System & Soul Blog: Brand Identity: What makes you the ONLY?

What makes YOU different? You can probably come up with a short list of things that make you unique like an experience you’ve had, a closely-held personal belief, or a talent you have.

Now, what about your organization—what makes it different? Can you clearly define that? Could the people on your team define it? 

If we do this right… it sounds like this:“"We are the ONLY motorcycle manufacturer that makes big, loud motorcycles for macho guys.”

You either love it, or you’re cringing hard, right?

Polarization is the point here.

By clearly defining your unique brand identity you’re able to:


  1. Resonate with the right audience
  2. Empower your people with a simple, clear message about who you are
  3. Claim a space in the market that makes you uniquely competitive


By putting a flag in the ground for who you want to attract, you find the superpower of strong, unmistakable magnetism. Is that going to repel some people with the same intensity? Of course, but if we're not turning people off, then we're not magnetic either.

In Marty Neumeier’s book, Zag, he says:


“Onliness is by far the most powerful test of a strategic position. Brands need strong positioning because customers have choices—if you don’t stand out, you lose. To win the positioning game, you have to answer one simple question: What makes you the “only?”


So how do you get clear on your unique brand identity? First you need to clarify what business you’re in—your core purpose or the reason you exist beyond making money. Then you have to define what makes you unique. The intended outcome is to reach a single, clear statement for what differentiates your business from all your competition:


We are the ONLY _____________ that _____________.


We recommend checking out the Onliness Statement tool to really help you distill this properly.

Once you have your onliness statement, you have a filter for future decisions. Does it support who you say you are? Does it fall in line with your belief system? You can also use this as an internal rallying point for everyone on the team and a driver for how you can uniquely market to your core audience.

Most would say that stepping out and doing or saying something NO ONE else is doing or saying is crazy, right? What’s crazy is following what everyone else is doing and expecting to stand out from the competition.

Be the only.

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