Is Being ‘Unique’ Enough Anymore?

This is a friendly reminder that we live in an oversaturated world where your target customer can buy almost anything and get it tomorrow, typically with free shipping and hefty discounts. We often find ourselves talking about the importance of brand voice and story-telling. Why we should buy from one brand vs. another. The concept of having a ‘unique selling proposition’ has been around a long time, but with myriad choices it’s become almost mission-critical. I say almost because I’m not sure unique product alone is enough. In today’s world, it is virtually impossible to have something truly unique. Why buy hoodie X vs hoodie Y? If they both have the same tech features, and they look the same and cost the same, then how do we decide? Is it who gives us the bigger discount in the end? Or who is making it in America instead of overseas? Some industry experts would argue that not only does your product need to be unique, but your approach has to be disruptive.

Here are a few questions you should ask to make sure you can compete:

  • Do you know what motivates your customers’ behaviors and buying decisions?
  • Do you know why they buy from you vs. your competitors?
  • When was the last time you actually spoke to your active customers? Your lapsed customers?
  • Does your team believe in your brand? Are they customers too?
  • Are you relying on shipping income to support your business instead of product sales growth?
  • What have you done as a company that is truly new this year?
  • When was the last time you tried something major and failed? Is your organization afraid of change?
  • Do you track the competition daily or at least weekly?
  • What percentage of your budget is spent on product development or customer research?

The always-critical holiday season will be here before we know it. But there’s still time to make an impact, and thinking through these essential questions is a great start. Happy to help, as always.

Polly Wong