Leveraging Who You Know to Define Who You Are: 3 Things That Define Your Point of Distinction

By Michael Randall

Your brand is a single point of distinction. Employees live this in everything they do and deliver. Customers know you for this based on their experience working with you and exposure to your ongoing market presence and communication. When it is unclear what that point of distinction is, companies can help themselves by exploring their known audiences for clarity.

A winning brand strategy begins with defining your single point of distinction. Many other frameworks are used to support, surround, and bring this distinction to life, but without it you will end up spending significant efforts developing a me-too brand that in the end will leave you wanting more. If you cannot succinctly and convincingly state what makes you different from your competitors then there is more work to be done.

Often in the world of B2B, companies will recognize their point of distinction as their people. While it is true people and talent frequently make the difference, all companies tout their people, recognizing them as the best. Therefore, having talented people becomes an ante into the game. You must dig deeper to uncover what’s unique in the what and/or how you deliver that truly makes your brand position distinct.

Utilizing your known audiences as a mirror, you can see your company in a new, more objectively-grounded light. Exploring with your employees, customers, and partners who know you best and have experience with competitors can be the best source of insight into what makes your brand distinct.

1. Understanding why new employees chose to work for your company and why tenured employees have chosen to stay can provide an interesting perspective.
2. Defining what the tipping point was in a customer’s decision to choose your company and what has fostered customer loyalty are two critical elements to factor into your value proposition and in developing your brand position.
3. Knowing why business partners choose to voluntarily be associated with your brand also provides an interesting perspective on the value you provide.

In a world of increased competition where value is increasingly commoditized it becomes more critical to distinguish your company’s brand for something. The best place to start is to define the one thing you want to be remembered for and fiercely promote it.