Is Your Unique Relevant?


I stood at the gates of a relatively new Cape Town venue on a glorious Summer’s evening. I asked the young pair on the door what it was all about. Proudly, one of them gushed,

“it’s South Africa’s only beach bar”

It was delivered in the manner of a taught response. So I enquired what precisely was meant by that. “It’s the only one”‘ was pretty much the spluttered answer. Sensing a chance to gain sales insight, I next asked what exactly they meant by a beach bar. “It’s on a beach”. Of course it was. Except it wasn’t.

A fairly uninspiring exchange. Despite the good natured smiles. Yet typical of someone fumbling to pitch something.

Even on the basic, entry level, a product should have one key attribute that sets it apart from alternatives. Marketeers talk of USPs. One aspect such a trait should possess is attractiveness in the mind of potential buyers.

If you’re going to play on being a ‘beach bar’, then what makes it a must-attend leisure stop for me? Even on a simple feature-advantage-benefit basis, where’s the explanatory layers that reel me in?

The site has a large converted warehouse, tastefully and trendily done out, with good food on offer. The ‘beach’ part felt like imported sand filling a former fishing jetty with a few benches and plenty of children running around. Between you on the ‘beach’ and the shore, there’s a cliff with all manner of enormous stone flood barriers underneath. In wonderful shapes like those old metal jacks toys I used to flip from my palm to back-of-hand as a nipper.

So it’s a restaurant first, hardly a bar even, with a bit of sand where kids run amok. You don’t even catch a sunset as the view is back across Table Bay. That’s away from the setting sun, subdued by buildings behind your left.

And yet I liked the place. I’ll definitely be going back. Especially with timing to ensure children are absent.

There’s plenty to be proud of, so why don’t they focus on that, rather than a useless, irrelevant hook. Then it should be easy to establish why this should hold appeal with a couple of simple further sentences.

Do your key unique pitches suffer a similar fate?

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