The #1 Branding Exercise You Need To Do

What is your Onliness Statement?

Developing your brand? You need to create your 'Onliness Statement'.

Branding isn't just about your logo design and the look of your website; it's much more than that. Your brand is the essence and values of your company, and how you come across to, and engage with, your customers.

I would encourage anyone currently building a brand, or any small business owner, to do the 'Onliness Statement' exercise. It's a great way to tap into the core message of your brand, and find your positioning statement. 

What is an Onliness Statement?

Think of it as a longer version of your elevator pitch. It's one sentence, but it is a bit of a mouthful, so it's better to keep for internal use rather than add it into marketing materials. 

The sentence is made up of a formula that includes the What, How, Who, Where, Why and When of your business, and all put together makes up what makes you different to your competitors.

The 'Onliness Statement' concept was originally developed by Marty Neumeier in his brand strategy book, 'Zag'. It's an interesting read, if you'd like to complete his full 'Zag' brand process (the Onliness Statement is just 1 of 17 steps), but I personally don't think some of the steps are relevant to all small and creative business owners. The Onliness Statement, in my opinion, is the most important step!

How do i write my onliness statement?

Below are some examples (yes, they are totally made up!) of how the formula works; once you've seen it, you'll find it incredibly easy to understand and follow for your own brand:

Example 1: A dog hotel service in Devon.

  • What: The ONLY boutique dog hotel
  • How: that provides luxury boarding and training
  • Who: for spoiled dogs with busy owners 
  • Where: living or holidaying in Devon
  • Why: who want the comfort of knowing their pet is being well looked after
  • When: in an era of overindulged pooches

Example 2: An Instagram scheduling app

  • What: The ONLY social media scheduling app
  • How: that provides automatic Instagram post scheduling
  • Who: for busy social media managers
  • Where: worldwide
  • Why: who want the ease of automatic scheduling
  • When: in an era of digital automation

Example 3: A travel blogger 

  • What: The ONLY expat travel blogger
  • How: that writes specifically about exploring & working in Asia
  • Who: for University students and graduates
  • Where: in Western societies
  • Why: who want to emigrate to Asia
  • When: In an era of geographical freedom

Try it for yourself! 

I'd love to see your Onliness Statements - share them below in the comments!