How to Create Your “Onliness Statement”

Onliness Statement

One exercise *every* small business needs to do: Create Your Onliness Statement

What makes your brand "the only" in its category?

Think of it as a rich elevator pitch, complete with a what, how, who, where, why and when of your business.

The 'Onliness Statement' was originally developed by Marty Neumeier in his brand strategy book, Zag

I had the good fortune of working with Marty in San Francisco as part of Neutron (now Liquid Agency) his brand strategy agency.

As Marty says, “Onlyness is by far the most powerful test of a strategic position. Brands need strong positioning because customers have choices—if you don’t stand out, you lose. To win the positioning game, you have to answer one simple question: What makes you the “only?"

How To Create Your Onliness Statement

Fill in the blanks: “My brand is the only _______ that ________.”

[Company Name] is THE ONLY (category) _______________________________
THAT (differentiation characteristic)___________________________________
FOR (customer) ________________________________________________________
IN (market geography) _________________________________________________
WHO (need state) _____________________________________________________
DURING (underling trend)__________________________________________

Onliness Statement examples we've created:

James Girard Bodyworks

James Girard Massage is the only [what] bodyworker that [how] combines brains & brawn for [customer] men & women in [market geography] San Francisco who [customer need statement] want more than your average rub down during [underlying trend] this era of quick fixes and short attention spans.

Princess Tea Party Business

Princess Tea Party Business is the only training course that liberates you from the 9-5 by delivering a completely supported hands-on, step-by-step guide to establishing a profitable small business, for busy women, moms, and parents in the US, who want an income and a family during an era of flexible opportunities and life/work balance.

Little Gay Book

Little Gay Book is the only [what] matchmaking firm that [how] focuses exclusively on healthy lesbian & bisexual relationships for [customer] successful, professional women in the US who [customer need statement] want real love and real connections during [underlying trend] a time of decreasing quality social opportunities and lonely online dating.

Small & Mighty Marketing

Small & Mighty Marketing is THE ONLY boutique digital marketing agency that provides social media, branding and web design services specifically tailored for busy small business owners, in the US, who want to differentiate their brand, in an era of confusing choices and impersonal solutions.

For an update on Zag, read Marty's new book, The Brand Flip.

Want some help developing *your* Onliness Statement?

Schedule a free 30 minute consultation and we'll give you a head start.