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The importance of distinctive assets for modern companies

by Casey Schmidt  |  January 15, 2020

4 min. read
A red pencil among many grey pencils.

Distinctive assets are things unique to your brand alone that give customers a reason to continue using your product or service. It’s important you know exactly what they are and how to create them. Here’s a guide to get you started.

What are distinctive assets?

Distinctive assets are positive enterprise features that are specific and unique to a certain company and brand. They are highly important property because of how well they create synergy between a product, customers and the brand. Distinctive assets essentially determine how well a company differentiates itself from competition.

One thing to keep in mind is that a company creates uniqueness with their culture rather than their product for the most part. An example that demonstrates this is the Coca-Cola soda company. Anyone who has drank Coke and Pepsi know that they’re similar. They’re both the same color and similar taste. It stands to reason that a lot of people couldn’t even tell the difference between the two. However, Coca-Cola has plenty of distinctive assets that separate them from other brands due to the culture they’ve created.

A Coke bottle in a puddle.
Coca-Cola has a lot of unique elements that make it stand out.

How to create a distinctive brand

Now that you have a solid understanding of what distinctive assets are, work your way backwards to determine how to create a distinctive brand. We already know, as referenced above, some concrete ways customers relate unique qualities with a specific company. In order to replicate this roughly, we can start at the end result and use it to find where to begin. Note also that there are differing types of elements, such as digital assets, etc.

The product or service is the end result but it’s certainly not the most important thing when creating a distinctive asset. Since we know a lot of products and services are exactly the same, the most important thing is how our assets drive customers to our product. Therefore, it makes sense that when creating distinctive assets, we should focus on our company culture. A unique culture represented by a distinctive asset is the difference between a customer choosing you over your competition.

A red chair among darker chairs.
Unique elements give customers a reason to choose you.

Why are they valuable?

The absence of brand recognition in campaigns is the absence of success. Picture for a moment that you hire a group to create a powerful video that you will be able to share with audiences to promote your brand. The video is highly popular and gets a lot of good attention. However, you forget to input anything unique about your brand into it. Even though technically the video is “successful”, it is in fact not successful at all, at least for your company. Take this same scenario and make the video something that is powerful and also reminds audiences of your brand and you’ll have success.

The value of a distinctive asset comes from its ability to link all your new campaigns, advertisements and products to your brand in the minds of your customers. A company’s jingle isn’t valuable in the sense that it’s a beautiful piece of songwriting and performance. It’s instead valuable because it is a distinctive asset that reminds customers of your company and bolsters your brand.

A brand bubble on a notepad.
A company element only becomes important when it signifies your brand.

Some ways to utilize them

Now that you have an understanding of how important it is to build distinctive assets for your brand, it’s time to learn how to put them to work in your favor. There are numerous elements that qualify as distinctive assets but not all of them work in every situation. The first step, then, is to make sure whichever avenue you wish to use them in is logical. For example, a specific type of advertisement might not benefit from having a certain distinctive asset in it. There are a lot of ways to determine when or when not to use distinctive elements and most of them are common sense. In fact, all it requires is a little bit of brainstorming and collaboration. Essentially, if you create a somber, dramatic video ad, your company jingle (a distinctive asset) likely doesn’t fit anywhere in the video. This is an obvious example but it helps easily demonstrate the point.

Make sure you give your audience and customers a chance to link communication and advertisements to your brand every time. For example, if a company sells and ships athletic tape exclusively, they might have a unique way of packaging their shipping boxes using a recognizable form of their tape to seal them. This type of use connects your distinctive assets with your audience at every opportunity.

Cement the power of your brand through unique elements that stand out in the minds of your customers. The further you go to differentiate yourselves, the deeper your connection with customers will be.