By Prosper Mutswiri

So you make tomato sauce, so do 30 others. A serious hungry eater at a local restaurant is going to put whatever ketchup is given to him on his chips. Remember “Better” boils down to three factors: more benefits, less risks, and/or less effort. All are unique to the person deciding” (Sam Manfer). So why and how do we create distinction when other factors like supply come into play?

To compete with other businesses nowadays you need something that nobody else can copy. A one of its kind so to speak! When all competitors are saying the same basic things each company appears to look the same.  Without the understanding of who wants what, only the buyers will know why they decided on a certain competitor. To make a difference you’ve got to know all the deciding factors of the situation.

Distinction defines the brand and what the brand becomes is what was first believed about the brand by those who launched it. A lot of factors come into play in creating uniqueness and one of these is passion. For example, when a brand manager through the managing director of a particular tomato sauce company has a clear set of beliefs about their brand, the next phase is to be passionate about it as you invest in all its stages of growth. Energy pushes everybody to see more and do more. Passion is your attitude towards the brand and passion ignites ideas that are further developed to strengthen the business through the brand.

Suddenly the tomato sauce guys don’t see red sauce as an additive to chips. They see and they actually believe that tomato sauce is as vital as food itself. Suddenly, the sauce doesn’t have just a name but the name has a meaning. The meaning reinforces the values, experience, consistency and pleasure that the chip eater enjoys. Furthermore the distinction is reinforced because that sauce comes packaged with a sub branded logo of the chips store so that there is already one more reason why the chips store even bought the sauce in the first place.

Distinction is only created by people who believe more and see more in their products in the interest of their customers. Passion is the catalyst to fire up things to happen. Your attitude towards your brand determines the altitude of your brand/distinction. Innovation around the brand answers questions that customer develops as times changes. Continuous research prevents market shortsightedness and enables production with customer voice. Creativity enables you to get your company exposed to the next generation of buyers before they even become buyers.

Tragically, some brands are like dinosaurs. They either evolve into birds and fly, or they stay on the ground and die. Distinction is more than mere logos, pretty pictures on adverts, ad –campaigns. Instead it is the centre and responsibility of management to harness and grow from within. It is also the responsibility of the entire organization regardless of departmental silos to relook at its branding strategy and seriously place it at strategic as the brand remain one of its greatest competitive asset.

NB: This article represents my own views on branding and a challenge to Business leaders, fellow Marketing and Communication Practitioners on this particular subject.

Prosper Mutswiri is a Certified and Experienced Marketing and Customer Experience Practitioner. He is a fellow member of Marketers Association Zimbabwe. He has over 15 years’ experience in Strategic Marketing, Communication and Customer Experience in the Energy, Telecoms and Advertising & Communication Industry. He is also a Writer and Motivational Speaker. For feedback please contact him at and