I ask new clients one simple question when I’m trying to figure out how to help them.

“Why do you deserve this?”

By “this,” I mean whatever successful outcome they’re asking me to produce. Do they want to develop the brand that leads their industry? Do they want to rank #1 for some search term? Do they want to boost customer retention? The question is the same either way.

The question might be simple, but invariably, no one has a very good answer on the tip of their tongue.

“We deserve this because we’re the best…”

“We deserve this because of our customer service…”

“We deserve this because we care…”

It’s not that our customers aren’t the best, most empathetic companies out there. They truly do care and they really want to be the best.

The problem: so does everybody else! Trying your best and caring the most got you this far, but if you really want to grow your business, you’re going to need more than that.

Yes, even Starbucks probably cared as much as you do at one point, before they figured out how to just make it seem like they care through their branding.

99 percent of the time, it’s not going to be some gimmick or cute piece of branding that puts you over the top. It’s going to be something robust, unique and fundamental.

Notice that I said “deserve.” I don’t want our clients to just want to be successful; I want them to deserve it.

The truth is, there are more than enough brands in the world already. If no one ever created another brand again, our lives would go on as normal well into the foreseeable future. We’d drink Starbucks, use Tide, wear Nike and whenever we got tired of those things, there would already be an entire universe of competitors to switch to.

Bob Dylan said something similar about songwriting once:

The world don’t need any more songs… As a matter of fact, if nobody wrote any songs from this day on, the world ain’t gonna suffer for it. Nobody cares. There’s enough songs for people to listen to, if they want to listen to songs. For every man, woman and child on earth, they could be sent, probably, each of them, a hundred songs, and never be repeated. There’s enough songs.

Unless someone’s gonna come along with a pure heart and has something to say. That’s a different story.”

I got that Dylan quote from this really interesting Brain Pickings article on songwriting, by the way.

If you’re going to commit to creating a brand, then, you should deserve to exist. You shouldn’t be just another logo in a world already drowning in merchandise. You should have something unique to say and something unique to accomplish.

And, like Dylan said, a pure heart wouldn’t hurt, either.