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What makes your brand special? (SPOILER: It’s probably not what you think.)

When asked what makes our brands special, the natural tendency is to immediately think of something unique we believe we have. Maybe it is a prized feature. Or maybe the way we deliver what we do. Or maybe it’s a bold focus on a very specific niche.

These are all valid elements of who you are as a brand. But no matter how unicorn-like you think they make you, they are not what makes you special. And in fact, focusing too much on telling everyone about these elements keeps many brands from discovering that thing that makes them irresistible.

There is a lot to pay attention to with any brand. We can get so caught up in just managing the day-to-day that we can lose sight of where the real opportunity lies.

If we want to find what truly makes our brands special, then we need a sea change in how we define that. That begins by understanding this principle:

It’s not what makes you different. It’s the difference that you make.

That difference is defined by how your brand can impact a life. A community. And, sometimes, even the world. I call it your Big Audacious Meaning. It is also known by its more common moniker. Purpose.

Your Big Audacious Meaning is what will make your brand compelling. Here are just a few reasons why:

These are qualities that people find irresistible. Imagine them thinking of your brand in that way.

Many think of purpose as some lofty brand aspiration. It makes a nice brand video but it’s separated from that day-to-day stuff. But your Big Audacious Meaning should help guide everything you do. Down to the day-to-day stuff.

With anything that you are doing with your band, go back to that principle. Now ask, “Does this idea, program, product, message, etc. further our Big Audacious Meaning?”

If this question becomes your touchstone, you will begin to infuse everything you say and do with a rare magic that every brand hopes to capture. That’s pretty special.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable, and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on January 29, 2021.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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