How Your Brand Can Be Distinct in a Saturated Market


ew vehicle shopping can be such a drag. You spend hours configuring your ideal car online, watch hundreds of YouTube videos to get a sense of what others think of it, and then find yourself at a dealership with options you weren’t looking for at different price points than your research indicated.

Baked into this experience is the assumption that you will need to haggle for the best price possible, as if by some rare happenstance your bargaining will reduce the cost so much it would be a disservice not to buy the car.

And yet, every year millions of people flood the market to purchase a new vehicle, fulfilling their deepest desires to have the unique experiences only that car can offer. They forget everything about the process I mentioned above and commit to a vision of themselves that is enabled by that new vehicle.

Manufacturers like Tesla know and understand this innate human desire so greatly they’re revolutionizing the way we think about the car ownership journey altogether. Their business model harnesses the power of purpose and relevance to create a community of Tesla owners that violently defend the brand and honor it for its unique and distinctive offering in the market.

Thanks to Tesla’s commitment to deliver increasingly more value and safety with each new software update, the car evolves as the driver evolves, staying in-sync and relevant to their needs in a way that feels totally fulfilling.

You would think with such a strong brand presence, Tesla would be spending millions on marketing, right? Wrong. Elon Musk has been vocal about how Tesla doesn’t advertise, preferring to invest the capital most manufacturers put towards ads into improving the product.

We can see how on the surface it looks like Tesla’s uniqueness is what drives better business outcomes, but in fact, it’s an intimate knowledge of what is relevant in the market and what problems need to be solved that make them stand out among the rest.

While we can’t all be Tesla, we can leverage the key principles that drive brands to deeply connect with their customers in a way that feels distinct and unique to them.

Three ways you can deliver distinct and memorable experiences your customers will deeply connect with:

Align your value with your customer's desire

  • The more relevant you can be, the better. We must connect the compelling value our brand provides with an understanding of who our customers want to become and what they desire.
  • When we create relevance and meaning for our customers, we empower them with a platform to truly and authentically be themselves. In turn, they gain a distinct sense of belonging that only your brand offers.

Immerse yourself in their universe — not just the part your brand impacts

  • If you’re going to understand your customers’ desires you’ll need to understand all aspects of their life, not just the parts your product or service impacts. It’s narrow-sighted to think of their journey with your brand in isolation from their life.
  • Conducting customer interviews with the Jobs to be Done method can help you explore your customer’s “be” goals so you know what matters to them and how your offering enables them to be their best selves.

Build your community and elevate your customers’ voices

  • The elements that define our uniqueness are often indicators of where we fit into the world and how we form bonds with others. Our values align, and we can connect based on what makes us distinct. Fostering a sense of community around what makes your customers unique, is a sure-fire way to deepen the relationships you have with them.