Everyone is unique but that does not mean it is easy to communicate your uniqueness. In marketing, we craft how our brand stands out with a Positioning Statement.
Bloggers and businesses of all sizes need to be able to do the same if you want to tell people what you do and how you help, in your tagline and on your homepage.
Personal Brand Examples
- Nelson Mandela
- Charlie Chaplin
- Princess Diana
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Sum up each in a few words. Think you could do it?
Go on, have a go!
- Which of them could you visualize? How do/did they dress?
- Could you hear some of their voices?
- Do any have specific ways of moving or body language?
- Are there differences in how they communicate?
Can you do the same for yourself? Would other people be able to?
You Must Find Your Uniqueness
The above exercise was for prominent public figures, and we are talking mainly about blogs and businesses here, but for a lot of us, our blogging persona is our personal brand. Regardless, it is an important thing to consider.
If you do not communicate how you are different then how will you stand out?
It’s strange. Each of us is an individual, and deep down we live to believe that but put someone on the spot and ask someone to define how they are unique then we struggle.
Is it because society tends to sand away our differences through social pressure? Being different causes confrontation and division, even if we are different in a way that society also values.
What makes you different matters because it is the reason why someone should go to you rather than your competitor.
It is what makes you memorable.
The thing people will talk about, your uniqueness is the “word” part of “word of mouth“.
I’m afraid if you don’t already have an answer then you are going to have to do some work.
How to Figure Out Your Remarkability
Ask people who know you well, ask your friends, colleagues, family, and best of all your happy customers.
What are all the ways that they think make you different?
After that, get brainstorming:
- How would you describe yourself in a few words? The more succinct the better.
- What are your values? What are your virtues?
- How would you describe your competitors? Do those words also describe you?
- What’s your story? How is your story different from others?
- Is there anything that could never be said about you?
- Do you have a philosophy? Beliefs? Sayings?
- Have you any unique achievements to your name? Are you the first, best, newest …?
- Which attributes are supportable by facts and proof?
- Can you turn your “features” into “benefits“?
- Why is what you do and how you do it better than other options?
- How do those things positively impact people? What do they get that they can not get anywhere else?
- What can you say about yourself that you could never say about anyone else?
How You Know You Have a Good Uniqueness
There are three items there in that list above that are absolutely crucial:
- Your brand and positioning must be based on truth rather than aspirations – You are rather than you are gonna be!
- It is no good having attributes without benefits or advantages. You want the reply to be “interesting, tell me more …” rather than “Huh, ok”, or “So what?”
- Keep working until you are describing you and only you.
People could argue that it is unlikely you will find something absolutely, unquestionably, uniquely you, which is fine! You just need something different enough that you have something to work with.
Being the same as everyone else is much worse than an imperfect uniqueness.
Does it work to separate you from your competitors? If so it works.
Example of a Uniqueness
To give you an example, say I set out to be a freelance marketing technologist.
How could I brand myself in that market?
I could say I am “your friendly marketing geek” (no laughing at the back).
Would this be unique, beneficial, and true?
- Geek – I started out in IT, I am a programmer, I moved into marketing via web development, and it is a way of expressing “technical” in a self-deprecating way.
- Friendly – Hopefully the way I present myself is approachable, non-threatening, inclusive, and informal. Many brands in Marketing Technology are very corporate or are “Tech Hustle Bro” culture.
- Marketing – The so-what, or benefit. I could be someone worth knowing if you have a problem with your marketing technology stack.
Now I am sure there are other programmers turned marketers.
Pretty much anyone would consider friendliness one of their attributes.
That’s ok! Providing this combination of attributes appeals to the people you want to serve and gels with the actual experience of dealing with you, it is a great start.
I hope you will let me know if my description does not!
Your Brand Positioning Statement: Adding Comparison and Advantage
Want to take it even further? Are you still struggling to come up with a brand position?
Try this exercise. Fill in the blanks:
Unlike other _________ I/we ___________, which means (for you) _________
Taking the hypothetical statement above as our example, here is what I could say to prospects:
“Unlike other marketing technologists, I am your friendly marketing geek, I will explain everything clearly, and always have your best interests in mind. Which means I will never blind you with science, talk down to you, or over-charge.”
What about a real scenario? For this blog, I could say:
“Unlike other blogs about website marketing, I show you how to build a real business from your knowledge and experience, which means you grow a long-term, sustainable, and profitable brand rather than a short-term get-rich-quick tactic”
Putting Your Uniqueness Into Effect
“Friendly Marketing Geek“
- How would you expect this person to act?
- What content will this person write?
- What sort of tone of voice and writing style will they use?
- What colors, photography, or fonts would you expect?
You don’t have to actually use these words that you come up with if you do not want to, just use them as guardrails. Know what they are in the back of your mind as you do your work.
Be able to picture and feel the meaning and impact on your audience and leads.
Monitoring and Evolving Your Uniqueness
This Uniqueness process both informs future choices and serves as a litmus test for all your other branding work.
Change one word, say “Friendly” to “Professional” – how does that influence things now?
Aside: My blog used to have a lot of orange in places, how did it become grey and blue? I only just noticed this myself as I edited this article to bring it up to date!
I used a red-orange for call to actions or to attract the eye, it is a friendly and standout color, but as I moved from working for myself to working for teams, somehow that went missing.
Change “Geek” to “Advisor” and my photograph would probably need to be swapped for something more formal, featuring (*gasp*!) a suit!
Does this process encompass everything about you?
Of course not.
Apple in one context is represented by the “Mac”, but then in another context, it is “Music”.
You might be “CEO”, “Parent”, “Friend”, “Spouse”, “Cook”, “Cleaner”, or “Chauffeur”, depending on the audience.
Darren Rowse is both The ProBlogger and the minister of a church.
In different scenarios and contexts, a different brand and positioning will come into play.
Of course, this is not the only way to do it but it is one way. Let me know if you have another approach. Also, tell me if this process works for you.
The important thing is, do you know your uniqueness? Can you tell me in a sentence? If not, better get working!