Note: This blog post is an excerpt from my new book, Marketing Spark, a guide for entrepreneurs looking to embrace the power of story-driven marketing. Featuring worksheets, templates, framework, tools, and step-by-step tactical instructions, it’s a workbook to make marketing and storytelling happen.

One of the keys to effective brand messaging is deciding how your company, brand or product is unique or different.

The ability to rise above the crowd can provide a competitive advantage. Being truly unique is a challenge because the market has never been so crowded. The barriers to entry are low, so whatever you’re doing is probably being done by someone else on a shoestring budget.

So what does it take to be unique? As a starting point, it is important to understand your ideal customer. you need to see the world through their eyes to understand what is important to that person. Then, you can focus on how to differentiate your brand and products from the competition.

Kevin Dubrosky, a marketing consultant, said creating a unique identity is not difficult.

He says it involves taking risks rather than playing it safe. “you need some courage to color outside the lines and be different because it doesn’t feel safe to be different. It feels scary to step up and do something that no one else is doing. It is scary being different and that’s the crazy irony of it all. It feels safe to be in the middle of the pack, even when the pack runs off a cliff.”

Sometimes, being unique means taking a different approach. Dubrosky points to Trunkster, which made a splash in the luggage industry by developing the “world’s first and only rolltop suitcase”.

Rather than having a zipper, it features a sliding door that provides easier access. The sliding rolltop is “the first major update to the core industrial design of luggage since wheels,” the company proclaims on its website.

Trunkster amplifies its uniqueness by arming the suitcase with USB charging (no more looking for an electrical plug at the airport!), tracking via GPS, and a digital scale to determine weight.



Want to discover your ideal customer? Use this framework to capture their characteristics:







Need to jump-start your marketing? Are you stuck or wondering what type of marketing to embrace? Let’s talk about how we can work together. My services include messaging, brand positioning, marketing strategies, and content development. I also offer a CMO-for-Hire service to oversee, operate, and build your marketing department.