By Kevin Vain – KDV Design & Associates | May 11, 2015

Have you ever asked yourself, “What makes my brand different than other in my industry? Hmmm, I am the best in the business. I deliver superior service.

When talking to some of the local businesses, I hear the same thing over and over again, but a few of them are digging deep to develop their Zag or Unique Selling Proposition. Marty Neumeier came up with this term, “Zag” in reference of something different and unique that no one else is doing. To me, it’s like being a rebel, but a good one; doing something different that has been told to you that you can’t do. Well, we will see about that. You may go out and try to tackle something no one else has done, but remember your market will always correct you and position you in the right direction.

Ok so, how do you develop a Zag?

Well, that is a question that can be answered by asking your self a series of questions.

  • What is your category?
  • How are you different?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Where are they located?
  • When do they need you?
  • And why are you important?

(Neumeier 66)

This is a start, but there is much more you will need to know to develop a true Zag. Remember to be radical in your Zag, (onliness) statement. If you can’t say you are the “only” in your industry go back and start over. Basically “DO YOUR RESEARCH”.

Now, here is a sample that you can use to develop your “onliness” statement. Our brand is the only ________ that ________. For example, “Our brand is the only chain of wine bars that builds community around wine education (Neumeier 66).” Letting people know you are the only will help you narrow down your target audience. You will also know that you are developing a product that will ultimately solve their problem or enhance their lives. That is why we’re in business, right?

We are here to make money by giving our customers something that they want.

So how do you develop a true Zag?

Well, here is what I found out from Neumeier.


  • FOCUS is paired with DIFFERENTIATION,
  • supported by a TREND, and
  • surrounded by compelling COMMUNICATIONS,

You have the basic ingredients of a Zag (Neumeier 48). This is the FDTC system.

If you can let out the mad scientist in you and allow these components to be mixed together, you will truly have a strong brand that your competitors can’t touch.

Hopefully this helps in your business journey. For more information and assistance in developing your Zag, give me a call at 702-825-IDEA and I would be happy to help you in conquering your industry. I will bring my mad scientist goggles and gloves. Let’s start cooking something up together.

– KDV Design & Associates



Neumeier, Marty. ZAG: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands. Pearson Learning Solutions. VitalBook file.

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