Branding is an art but it’s not about selling products; it’s about selling the brand itself. What makes a brand successful is not the product or service, it’s the “distinct position” it owns in the minds of customers. Your brand is what your customers think, feel, and say, about you. It is what you’re known for.
Branding is all about differentiation and standing out. Differentiation gives brands their competitive edge. Don’t just strive to be better than your competitors, you must strive to be different. A unique brand is one that differently provides something of value much better than the competition that people can’t help but notice and talk about.
In today’s marketplace, there are too many brands, too many products and too much marketing noise. The noise level today is far too high. It’s a jungle out there! And the only sure way to get your brand noticed and score big is to be “uniquely different”.
So, what about you, is your brand worth talking about? Are you doing things uniquely different to stand out and be noticed? Does your brand own a distinct position in the minds of your customers that is truly meaningful to them?
Here are 10 tips to make your brand uniquely different and worth talking about:
Find your own place. Avoid the “me too” mistake
Because today’s marketplace is oversaturated with brands that offer the same boring product or service which makes it very challenging to cut through the competitive noise to convince potential clients that they should pick you over the competition. The question is; is there room for your brand? The answer to that depends on your approach and brand philosophy. For your brand to have an impact, you need to craft a positioning statement. Once the objective & message are clear, finding your place is easy.
Have a Unique Selling Proposition
Create a concise and clear USP that focuses on one thing you do amazingly well that others in your industry don’t. A well-articulated USP will set you apart from the competition and attract more clients. Think of Domino’s Pizza’s USP: “fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or it’s free”. That’s a simple & easy USP everyone can understand with a clear benefit for the customer. What’s your USP?
Generate publicity. Increase visibility
Brands are built on P.R and maintained on advertising. The reason publicity is so effective is that it’s not viewed as a marketing activity. When your brand is being featured and talked about by a third party, you’re establishing & building credibility in the minds of your clients and future clients. What others say about you is more effective than what you say about yourself. Don’t underestimate the power of publicity.
Create a compelling brand experience
Make no mistake about it, a memorable brand experience is one of the most valuable intangible assets a brand can own. Customers look for a brand experience tailored to their needs & want, backed by genuine and meaningful personal interaction. Starbucks has gone so far as to create a unique experience that no other coffee chain can match. At Starbucks, you know that you will be greeted with a smile and friendly conversation. You know that your order will be made the exact same way every time. As Howard Schultz, the Founder of Starbucks once said, “The art of being a great retailer is to preserve the core while enhancing the experience.”
Is your brand charismatic? If your brand was a person, who would it be? A brand worth talking about must be charismatic. Your brand personality has the power to create positive or negative brand associations in the minds of your customers. Charisma is a crucial element to the success of your brand. Think of Virgin Group. People do business with Virgin largely because of its charismatic personality. Build a brand with a personality that people can’t help but be drawn to.
Don’t compete. create & stay fresh
No matter what industry you are in, you are in a competitive environment. You should be aware of what your competitors are doing, but don’t be obsessed with it. Don’t waste your time and energy on competing without being creative. Innovation and creativity are what keep your brand alive & fresh. Most people copy what others are doing in the marketplace and compete on that basis. Don’t be that “uncreative competitor”. Lead the way by being the leader in innovation in your arena and let the competition follow. Keep them on their toes by being consistently creative.
Speak their language
Speaking the language of your customers will make your brand more engaging and will generate more sales. Clarity is the name of the game. A clear brand message is a key to successful branding, this means your voice should be clear and easy to identify. Take the time to listen and understand the language your customers speak and adapt it to your marketing. Clear communication builds trust, poor communication destroys it!
In branding, consistency leads to familiarity. Successful brands stay consistent with their original identity. Brand consistency builds confidence with your audience. Such consistency generates loyalty for your brand more than quality does. It’s an essential element to any brand’s growth and longevity. That’s why its imperative to develop standards for brand consistency, on and offline. That’s what separates extraordinary brands from ordinary brands.
Social media is a great brand-building tool that has provided brands with a tremendous opportunity to build strong relationships and stay connected with their audiences. Keeping the relationship fresh and going is necessary. Work to engage your target audience and keep them engaged. If you don’t have a strong online presence, you are invisible. Brands who stay connected with their client base will always win. Remember; Out of mind, out of business!
Do something every day that helps your brand grow stronger and extend its reach. Keep monitoring and measuring its performance to know which areas need improvement. The world around us is constantly evolving. Don’t sit back and think your brand is safe because business is going well. Once you do that, once you become complacent, you’re gone!
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