In Marketing, Be Unique. But Not Too Unique.

B Y   T O M   T O R T O R I C I

With the deluge of marketing messages we come across each day, we’re conditioned to pretty much ignore them all by default. If we stopped to read and consider each one, well, there would be no time for anything else.

So how can ambitious companies break through this ‘buyer’s armor’? Not by being like everyone else, that’s for sure. Here’s an email from another “Event Planning Company.” Uh huh. Here’s a post from another “Resort Hotel.” Hm. And here’s another ad for “Auto Repair.” Okay.

Boring. Boring. Boring. At first glance, none of these make me curious, so there’s no reason to look further. I already know what those kinds of companies do.

But what if a company really is unique in some beneficial way? Let’s say our three example businesses decide to rebrand to stand out from their competitors’ offerings. The company names at the top of their respective messages now say “Great to See You,” “Creature Comforts,” and “The Garage Squad.”

Yes, each is more creatively unique than the earlier boring options. However, now I don’t know what any of those companies are selling. And that’s a big problem.

Just as importantly, I don’t have an existing mental category to put any of them in. When that happens, my natural tendency is to dismiss them and move on to the next email, post, or ad. People who are even a little confused don’t buy.

Which means all that money spent on rebranding was wasted.

Can I chirp in here and make a suggestion? In each case, let’s try adding a prominent tagline, or ‘positioning line,’ to each company name.

The first part of that line should be something familiar, that people can relate to, based on their existing experience. The second part should be the unique part – the beneficial ‘twist’ that helps this product or service rise above the rest in the minds of customers.

Let’s try some examples:

Great to See You!
Event Planners for Family Reunions

(Me: Specialists for setting up our next extended family get-together – I’ll bet they have great ideas!)

Creature Comforts
Resort Hotel with Doggy Day Care

(Me: So, we can take Max on vacation, and he’ll be cared for when we go to restaurants – perfect!)

The Garage Squad
Auto Repairs Done at Your Home

(Me: So if my car doesn’t start in the morning, the mechanics will come to me? How convenient!)

If you want your company to come off as unique in its promotion, it helps if it’s actually unique in its offerings. But it can also work with a unique ‘approach’ that can be conveyed as a benefit.

In any case, each headline now balances distinctiveness, clarity and benefit, right up front where the ‘scanning eye’ can snag it. In addition to their uniquely memorable names, each company offers something familiar, but with a meaningful twist.

This approach makes each message harder to dismiss, and more likely to be remembered by someone who is potentially in the market.

And isn’t that the whole point of marketing?


Need help getting the balance right on your own company’s messaging? Let’s Talk.


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Tom TortoriciAbout the Author:  Tom Tortorici is an Atlanta copywriter and web content writer who helps companies make a genuine connection with their audience. His classes and conference presentations have focused on how writing, strategy and design can work together to grab attention and interest even among readers with short attention spans. In addition to working directly with businesses, Tom regularly partners with web designers and marketing agencies.

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