The power of being single-minded

Author: Glenn Whitehead, M&a Creative Director

In advertising, the term single-minded proposition gets thrown around quite a bit. Sometimes it goes by other names as people try to make it easier to grasp. You might hear unique selling point or point of differentiation but essentially we are talking about the same thing…

The ONE thing about your brand, product or service that’s better than your competitors.


You can probably rattle off a long list right? Go ahead. Grab a notepad and go to town but at the end pick up that angry red marker and get brutal and honest with yourself. Cross them all off one by one until you are left with only one strong solitary line.

It’s likely to be a benefit you feel is the crowning achievement of your brand. Trouble is, your customers most probably don’t care what you think. As a modern consumer they’re far more experienced to decide what’s right for them.

So who am I dealing with?


You are probably already digging into your data to understand your customers. If you aren’t then you should be. Nowadays there are so many channels for collecting data that you should be able to create a clear picture of the target audience you need to engage with.

From here you should be able to stress-test the lone survivor of your red marker list massacre against your audience profile. If something isn’t quite adding up, chances are you’ve made the wrong choice.

Time to go back to the list.

What does it look like?


A single-minded proposition is likely not going to have a comma or use the word and. You should be aiming to address problems your consumers are experiencing, giving them a way to solve their problem with your offering.

Time to strap on the empathy boots and take a look from their point-of-view.

If you sell breakfast cereal, and the majority of your target audience face a battle every morning just to reach the office, you need to address that problem. You better find a way to puree that cereal or squash it into a bar then hit them with a killer SMP or you’ll get left at the bus stop. Tell them to ditch the bowl or embrace the mobile breakfast table and you’ll be on track to win hearts.

So ditch all the waffle and cut to the chase. Make your communication meaningful to your audience. They will thank you for it.


About the Author

Bronwyn Cook

Bronwyn is a Senior Account Director at M&a.

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