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Exploring ‘distinctiveness’ as a driver of brand growth

Exploring ‘distinctiveness’ as a driver of brand growth
28/04/2022

Today’s brands understand that competition is rife. Vying for sales and customer loyalty is increasingly challenging. But when overwhelmed by choice, and often in increasingly saturated markets, consumers are looking for something in particular.

The fact is if your brand doesn’t stand out – if there’s nothing in particular that sets you apart from your competitors – you will struggle to fight through all the noise. Without a strong identity, your brand will struggle to grow.

The fastest-growing brands have something special about them – something about them is different. We’re talking brand ‘distinctiveness’. As a key driver of brand growth, (Vision One Brand Growth Study 2021) distinctiveness can elevate your brand’s reputation, provide the perfect reason to buy and nurture brand loyalty.

But what does it really mean to be distinctive? What does a distinctive brand look like? And how can we measure how distinctive a brand is?

Rethinking what it means to be unique Distinctive brands stand out. There’s a uniqueness about them. But with brands so quick to emulate top-selling competitor features, or the latest designs and trends, can any brand be said to be truly unique?

The fact is, you don’t have to be the ‘only one’ to be regarded as unique.

Even in markets where the products themselves are standardised (or virtually identical), distinctive brands succeed in finding their own uniqueness. Consumers can tell them apart and differentiate them from their competitors. Distinctive brands are not like everyone else – in fact, they strive to be anything but.

They are recognisable. They are memorable. They are different.

But what is it that sets them apart?

The importance of visual identity Distinctive brands often have a highly recognisable brand identity. Visually, something about them makes them different or easy to recognise.

Maybe their brand colours are particularly bold

It could be their strapline or jingle

Perhaps their logo is unusual, eye-catching or particularly clever

It might be the shape of the packaging - or their visible range

Maybe they are just the brand that's most prevalent - the one you see, everywhere you turn

Standing out visually is important. It’s about being memorable. And when a consumer can remember what your brand looks like, the decision to buy is more straightforward. Surrounded by choice, there’s comfort in recognition. Spotting the brand you know, or the one you recognise, feels reassuring – and it saves time.

It’s about making it as easy as possible for your target market to choose you.

But distinctiveness isn’t just about how easily your brand can be differentiated visually. Brands can signal that they are different and unique in other ways.

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