- I use this framework I call the uncommon denominator. What this framework does is it synthesizes what we know about the customers' desires, what we know about our competitor and what they're good at and what we know about our own strengths. Right now, we're in a really good position because we've gathered raw insights. So we can answer these questions from the customer's point of view. I like to think of the uncommon denominator as a Venn diagram with three circles, one for each area.
What you're going to do is inventory everything that goes into each. First, you're going to list the customer desires. Now, some of these things will be overt, things that they actually said to you. Some of this is you reading between the lines of what you heard. What are those insights? Next, you're going to list your competitor strengths. Remember that your competitor could be a direct competitor but it also could be a substitute.
You could be competing against a behavior or the status quo or an adjacent type of product. Again, channeling your customer, how would your customer think about what is compelling about your competitor? List those things in that second circle. Lastly, we're going to turn to our own strengths. What are the things that we are good at? Here, we can list all of the things that we know but have a special eye toward the things that your customer expressed as a strength.
List all of those things in this circle. Now, we have a compilation of what our customer wants, what our competitor is good at and what we are good at. Here is where the power of this framework can really be helpful. There are two intersections we're interested in. The first is the very center of the Venn diagram and this is what we call the common denominator. These are your category benefits.
Basically, the things that are important to our customer that our competitor is good at and that we are good at. These are things that are important but it's table stakes. It's something that you have to offer just by virtue of saying that you're in this category. So if you make a pancake mix, your table stakes benefit is that your pancake is delicious. The important thing here is to note that the common denominator is really useful but it's not the end of the story.
It's kind of the beginning of the story. Yes, we have to do that but we don't get to stop there. This is probably the single biggest error that I see in brand strategy is mistaking your table stakes benefit for something that you truly own. Now let's move on from that to the uncommon denominator. It's that overlap of what is important to your customer, what you're good at and what your competitor is not good at.
That is the crux of your brand positioning. So if you're a pancake brand and you're really excited because your pancakes are so delicious, don't congratulate yourself because you're a pancake. You should be delicious. Move on to what you uniquely bring. Your uncommon denominator is what you uniquely bring to the table. So your pancake is very thin, it's a crispy pancake, it uses your Swedish grandmother's recipe.
That is your uncommon denominator. The power of your brand strategy stems from how meaningful it is to your customer and how unique it is to you. The Venn diagram helps you to get very clear on that overlap so that you're building your positioning from this powerful foundation.
In this course, branding expert Lindsay Pedersen explains how to create a compelling brand strategy that gets results for your organization. She demonstrates how to properly frame your strategy and covers brand positioning, discussing how to climb a benefit ladder and determine your position. Plus, she shows how to create a personality for your brand, choose the tone, and create an activation strategy.
- Framing your strategy
- Crafting your brand promise
- Defining your brand character
- Activating your strategy
- Identifying your plan of action