Earlier I wrote about the need for simple and consistent messaging for your company. But there's another key concept that must be incorporated into your message for it to resonate with your target audience. You must differentiate your message as well.
Even the simplest message will not be remembered if the audience can't understand how you're different from the competition. It's as confusing as a complicated message because in the end your message needs to not only be understood but must also set you apart from other solutions in your marketplace.
When you develop your message, you need to ask who you are competing with and what makes you different from them. However, when you answer these questions you need to still be clear and concise. At the same time, you need to ensure the difference you are communicating is also meaningful to that audience. Very few people are going to switch to your solution if you are only 2x better. In many cases, they may not even switch if you're 10x better.
Most important, to differentiate your message, you need to explain how you solve their problem better than your competition, which may be by being faster or more powerful, but it could also be by making life easier or more efficient for that organization.
Now, I know many startups believe they don't have any competition because their product is soooo innovative. But, in the eyes of your audience there is always competition because even if your product is new they have been solving the problem in a different manner so far. This is quite often called indirect competition and in many cases it is more important to differentiate from those solutions than the direct ones.
Also, keep in mind that you do want competition because if you don't, you may be targeting a market that doesn't exist, is too small, or you may be solving a problem that the audience doesn't know they have which will cause other issues from a communications perspective.
In the end, your goal from a message and branding perspective is to own a space in the mind of your target audience. This space must be clearly defined so they can put you in the right bucket. And then, you must clearly differentiate your message from the competition in that bucket or a similar one. Together, a simple, consistent and differentiated message is the key to your communications.