Rare Breed

by Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger

“Rare Breed” is about how to become an uncommon leader and build a standout brand. The authors, Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger, are the founders of the award-winning branding agency Motto, and they draw on their experiences working with entrepreneurs and executives to offer insights and strategies for achieving success.


“Rare Breed” argues that to succeed in today’s marketplace, you must embrace your uniqueness and differentiate yourself from the competition. Bonnell and Hansberger offer a roadmap for discovering your rareness, honing your skills, and building a brand that stands out. They provide real-world examples and case studies to illustrate their points, and offer practical advice on topics like branding, marketing, leadership, and creativity.

“Your brand is not what you do, it’s who you are, and that’s what makes you rare.”

BIG IDEA 1: Embrace Your Uniqueness

To be successful, you must embrace what makes you unique and stand out from the crowd. Don’t try to fit in or be like everyone else; instead, use your differences as a strength and a competitive advantage.

Embracing your uniqueness is to understand what makes you stand out from the crowd. The authors argue that everyone has a rareness, a unique combination of qualities, experiences, and perspectives that sets them apart from others. It’s up to you to identify your rareness and use it to your advantage.

To discover your rareness, the authors recommend taking an inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, values, and experiences. What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What sets you apart from others? Once you have a clear understanding of your rareness, you can start to build your brand around it.

However, embracing your uniqueness is not just about discovering your own rareness, but also celebrating the differences of others. The authors argue that diversity and inclusivity are key to building a strong team and a successful brand. By embracing the differences of others, you can create a culture of innovation and creativity, where everyone’s unique perspectives and experiences are valued.

One of the challenges of embracing your uniqueness is the fear of standing out or being different. The authors acknowledge that it can be scary to be the one who goes against the norm or challenges the status quo. However, they argue that true success and fulfillment come from being true to yourself and staying true to your values, even when it’s not the easiest path.

Another challenge is the pressure to conform to the expectations of others, whether it’s society, family, or colleagues. The authors argue that this pressure can lead to conformity and mediocrity, and that the most successful leaders and brands are those that have the courage to be different and challenge the norms.

Embracing your uniqueness is a key theme of “Rare Breed,” and the authors offer practical advice on how to discover your rareness, celebrate diversity, and stay true to your values. By embracing your uniqueness, you can build a standout brand and achieve success as an uncommon leader.

BIG IDEA 2: Build a Standout Brand

Your brand is more than just a logo or a product; it’s the experience you offer to your customers. To build a standout brand, you must be clear on your purpose, your values, and your unique selling proposition.

The first step in building a standout brand is to define your purpose. The authors suggest that purpose is the driving force behind a successful brand, and it should be rooted in your rareness. Your purpose is what motivates you to do what you do, and it should resonate with your target audience. When you’re clear on your purpose, you can use it to guide your decisions and actions, and communicate it effectively to your customers.

The second step is to define your values. Your values are the principles that guide your behavior and decision-making, and they should align with your purpose. By defining your values, you can ensure that your brand is authentic and consistent, and that you attract customers who share your beliefs.

The third step is to define your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what sets you apart from the competition, and it should be based on your rareness and what makes you unique. To define your USP, you need to understand your target audience and what they value, and then identify how your brand can meet those needs in a way that no one else can.

Once you have defined your purpose, values, and USP, the authors recommend that you communicate them clearly and consistently through all aspects of your brand. This includes your messaging, visual identity, customer experience, and interactions with stakeholders. By building a strong brand that is authentic, consistent, and differentiated, you can attract loyal customers and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Building a standout brand is a crucial aspect of achieving success as a leader and entrepreneur. The authors of “Rare Breed” provide practical advice on how to define your purpose, values, and USP, and communicate them effectively to your customers. By building a strong brand that is true to your rareness, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and create a lasting impact in your industry.

BIG IDEA 3: Lead with Purpose

Leadership is not about power or authority; it’s about inspiring others to follow your vision. To be an uncommon leader, you must have a clear sense of purpose and be able to articulate it in a way that motivates and inspires your team.

Leading with purpose is to define your personal purpose. Your personal purpose is the reason why you do what you do, and it should align with your values and unique talents. When you’re clear on your personal purpose, you can use it to guide your decisions and actions as a leader, and inspire others to join you on your mission.

Next you need to define your organization’s purpose. Your organization’s purpose should be aligned with your personal purpose and should be grounded in a desire to create a positive impact in the world. Your purpose should be communicated clearly to your team and stakeholders, and should guide all aspects of your business strategy and operations.

Finally, inspire and empower others to lead with purpose. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to create a culture that encourages purpose-driven behavior and empowers your team to make a difference. This can be done through effective communication, providing opportunities for growth and development, and creating a sense of community and shared vision.

Leading with purpose also requires you to be adaptable and agile in the face of change. The authors suggest that purpose-driven leaders are those who are willing to take risks, experiment, and learn from their mistakes. By staying true to your purpose while being open to new ideas and opportunities, you can create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

Leading with purpose is a key aspect of achieving success as a leader and building a standout brand. The authors of “Rare Breed” offer practical advice on how to define your personal and organizational purpose, inspire others to lead with purpose, and adapt to change. By leading with purpose, you can create a positive impact in the world and leave a lasting legacy as an uncommon leader.

“The world needs uncommon leaders who are willing to stand up, speak out, and make a positive impact in the world.”


“Rare Breed” is a must-read book for anyone who wants to become an uncommon leader and build a standout brand. The book offers practical advice and insights on how to embrace your uniqueness, build a standout brand, and lead with purpose. Through inspiring stories, real-world examples, and actionable tips, the authors provide a roadmap for achieving success in business and life. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader, or someone who wants to make a positive impact in the world, “Rare Breed” will help you unlock your full potential and become the best version of yourself.

About the Authors

Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger are the co-founders of Motto, a branding agency that has worked with a wide range of clients, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Bonnell and Hansberger are known for their unconventional approach to branding, which emphasizes the importance of embracing your uniqueness and standing out in a crowded marketplace. They have been featured in numerous media outlets, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company, and are sought-after speakers on topics related to branding and leadership.

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