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Brand Strategy is About ONE Thing

By Ray Baird

I was reminded this weekend, that the art of brand positioning is focus and sacrifice. My team and I were presenting to the Board of Directors of a very well established brand that over time had tried to become too many things to their customers. Basically, their brand became “A mile wide and an inch deep” or a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” As our research confirmed, their audience had lost the relevance of the brand. That one thing that their brand had been known for had become diluted, confusing both their internal and external stakeholders. We politely reminded them — if you don’t stand for one thing, you will be known for nothing. To help companies understand this concept, we often reference the classic movie City Slickers and the dialogue between Curly and Mitch.

The simple message Curly shares with Mitch is not only a profound life lesson, but one that also applies to the business of branding. If you think about some of the most valuable and recognizable brands out there, they are ultimately known for ONE thing. So, what is the ONE thing your company or brand is known for? From a personal perspective, what is your ONE thing? If you or your business can’t quickly determine the ONE thing you’re known for – the ONE thing that separates you from the crowd – maybe it’s time you – like Mitch – did a little soul searching.