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Shocking Ways “the Only One” Is Bringing Sexy Back


Competitive claims made by organizations today lack creativity, imagination and truth.

Most differentiation statements advocated by organizations and intended to convince us involve words like “best”, “number one”, “leader”, “fastest growing”, “most” and “highest quality” to assert their distinguishable characteristics vis-a-vis their competition.

The usual clap trap

These are common statements you see:
— “We provide the best customer service”
— “We strive to deliver the highest level of service at all times”
— “We offer the highest quality products”
— “We have the most knowledgeable employees”
— “We have been in business for over 30 years”
— “We rank number one in customer satisfaction “
— We are rated the number one airline in the world”

Unfortunately, these pronouncements add little understanding to help people select a company to do business with. For example, how exactly does having knowledgeable employees make an organization the right choice given a number of alternatives to choose from? Who decided an organization has the best customer service, and why should I believe them? And why is being in business the longest even relevant in today’s business climate?

They statements are confusing and have little credibility with their audience. They are generally vague and aspirational without proven substance.

There is another way to approach the challenge of defining what makes an organization special and why people should do business with them and only them.

It’s called “the only one” — ONLY.

It’s an approach I developed as president of a data and internet company. I had to come up with an alternative way of communicating why we should be chosen over our competitors; ONLY was it and it worked amazingly well.

ONLY is constructed this way: “We are the ONLY ones that ___”.

Related: Is There Anything Really Wrong with Overkill?

ONLY is bringing sexy back; here’s why:

ONLY is bold — some might say arrogant. It’s audacious in the claim to to be THE ONE that owns a particular space and is prepared to show all to prove it. This confident face of the organization, in and of itself, raises curiosity to find out what it’s all about.

Easy to look at
ONLY is a simple expression which uses simple language. The low “fog factor”invites eyes to gaze on and process the thought articulated rather than struggling through what it means.

Clean form
ONLY relies on a binary view; the claim is either true or false. It exists or it doesn’t. It makes it very easy for the reader to assess both its relevance and its truth. “We provide the ONLY solution that permanently stops people from depositing biohazard — aka used needles — contaminants through manhole covers” is a simple expression of the value being created by the offering.

Emotional appeal
ONLY is built around what is relevant to the customer’s the organization has chosen to serve — what their target customer group CARES about — therefore these specific people are warmed up to the competitive ONLY claim being made.

“We are the ONLY ones that provide safety solutions anywhere, anytime” speaks volumes to those who could be in need on a moment’s notice and it is reassuring to know that resources are available to help.

Revealing shape
ONLY provides detail and clarity around what the solution does, to make it easy for the potential buyer to make an informed decision. It has the cutting edges and lines of specificity that attract followers.

“Unlike other distracted driving solutions that allow drivers to use their smartphone when driving, eBrake is the ONLY one that automatically locks a driver’s phone when motion is detected, but grants passengers unrestricted use.”

Attractive measurements
ONLY is easily measured by asking the frontline and customers whether the claim is true or not; the measurement process is simple. In addition, the researcher can look up and compare other organizations and what they offer as a competitive claim and reach their own conclusions on ONLY’s efficacy.

ONLY is different. There is no other similar proven method of creating a claim of competitive advantage out there. It has a track record of success with a many organizations I have had the pleasure of working with. No other advisor, consultant, academic or strategy pundit has a tool in their kitbag like ONLY but Roy — I am the ONLY one.

Sexy is a personal thing. Some people look at something and find it sexy; others view the same thing and don’t see the sex appeal.

ONLY’s sexiness comes from bridging the two points of view. It represents a common denominator that most leaders searching for a compelling way to separate themselves from the crowd find attractive and effective.

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