Is Your Brand Unique?

Uniqueness is one of those things we brand people love to talk about. The trouble is – it’s often difficult to measure.

A quick Google search delivers two alternative definitions:
“The quality of being the only one of its kind.”
“The quality of being particularly remarkable, special, or unusual.”

The truth is there are plenty of examples of brands that do well that aren’t particularly unique. Take the car hire companies Avis and Hertz.

They both rent the same models of cars.

They both offer similar contract periods.

They both have large fleets of cars available.

One has red branding, the other has yellow.

Avis’s tagline is “Better is always evolving. We are too.”

Hertz’s tagline is “Hertz Rental Car. Let’s Go!”

I would argue that Avis is more unique than Hertz – simply because it’s tagline says something about what they stand for, whereas Hertz doesn’t.

Does it matter? Well it might do.

Apart from picking the first name that appears on the list when you do a Google search (in my case neither brand appeared until position number 6), what are some of the factors that determine which rental car brand you might choose?

– Word of Mouth
– Previous experience with that brand
– Advertising
– Visibility / ease of access when you arrive at your destination airport
– Price
– Customer service experience
Etc etc

“How unique the brand is” wasn’t on the list – but maybe it should be.

What if a car brand were to completely re-think the car hiring experience? By that I mean do a Cirque de Soleil to the circus market, or an Uber to the taxi market. Now that would be unique – and it would almost certainly generate a lot of customer interest and trial by younger consumers.

Of course, it would need to be backed by some basics such as a good selection of cars, competitive pricing, good customer service and so on.

But ultimately for a brand to be successful it can’t just be unique, it has to be able to make a connection with its audience. I have written many times before about the power of Purpose, and it applies here.

If you can explain what you stand for (in the case of Avis this is about evolving with their customers’ needs), you make a deeper connection – because you are making a promise to your customer to give them something special.

So when you are developing your brand (or refining it), think about what your brand stands for, and what promise you will make to your audience to improve their experience. It’s a great way to be unique – because when the customer is made to feel special, there’s a good chance they’ll remember your brand name when they do that Google search.


If you’d like help creating a more unique brand experience for your customers, please get in touch with me to arrange a chat.

Justin JG Cooper is a Brand Consultant and Purpose Coach, the founder of
Brand Purpose .Co, and the author of Marketing is Dead, Long Live Purposing.