Stand out or get left behind.
The most successful products, services, individuals and businesses are based on being perceived as unique and/or special. Just look at the market leaders in any sector and you’ll find they each own a place in the consumer’s mind and in some instances, theirs hearts.
Branding is more than just marketing, branding is the entire effect that creates a memorable identity and connection.
A successful branding is based on differentiating yourself from the market and show why you’re unique in the market. Branding creates a perception that there is no other product, service, business or community quite like yours. The distinction can be a result of level of service, ease of use, price or prestige; the customer believes you offer something exceptional.
Branding everything people touch, see or hear that immediately sets you apart from the competition. This covers advertising, website, office design, culture, content, etc.
Branding yourself well is critical to success and longevity of your business.
Focus Point 1: Define Your Brand
One of the most important aspects of branding is to create a memorable concept that stay’s in people’s thoughts. To achieve this you need to have focused and on-point branding.
First start by making a list of the qualities that make your business, if you get stuck as yourself some of the following questions.
Why would your customer choose you?
Why do you think your customer would choose you over your competition.
What differentiates you from others in your market?
Your list of qualities shape your brand definition.
Next step, try creating a written brand definition to use as a measuring stick to evaluate marketing materials and strategies. This will allow you to keep your marketing on point with your brand and start building your reputation based on your brand definition.
When building marketing content make sure you keep checking it against your brand definition and qualities, if you start to stray then ask yourself two questions.
Why am I starting from my qualities and brand?
Should this be added to my qualities and brand definition?
If you spend time working on this, you will likely come up with a long list. Try to narrow it down afterwards.
Focus Point 2: Keep It Simple, Keep it You
One of the most common mistakes that marketing and advertising people make is they say too much. We understand why this happens because world-class products and services are difficult to create, and there is a lot to communicate about why your stuff is better than everybody else’s stuff.
You’re proud of it and you don’t want to leave anything unsaid but the reality of it is that if you say too much, no one will listen. We live in a world where everyone’s attention is demanding 24/7 across multiple mediums, if it doesn’t stand out and quick to understand the message gets lost.
The most effective way to separate your message from the noise is to be simple, focused and personal. Your customers must choose to pay attention to you and your message therefore it must be a simple message.
Just do it. Powerful, personal and simple. The imagery supports this simple message. Someone at Nike® resisted the urge to say more. “Just walk, run, bike, ski, swim, shoot hoops or lift weights,” says more, but would listen to that?
Focus Point 3: Stand up, stand out
Differentiation will answer one of your customers key questions, “why you?”.
Never limit our thinking, the smallest differences can give you a big advantage over your competitors.
Don’t have a clear differentiator? Consider your customers and what they’re looking for and what are their pain points that you can fix or even how can you improve their experience of buying your product or service?
Open your mind and find a way to stand out and take a chance, even if it’s unrelated to your product or service.