How to make your brand stand out against the competition
Good branding is part art, part science. In a world where virtually every product and service is available to us with just a few clicks of a button, finding that crucial gap in the market is becoming increasingly difficult.
You don’t have to tell your company’s history to the world; this is where most brands fail. The key is engagement, and to engage your audience your brand must have a clear purpose. As a rule of thumb, if you can explain your business to a child or pensioner in just a few sentences, then you’re moving in the right direction.
In collaboration with Berghind Joseph, we have compiled a list of brand development techniques from some of the most reputable experts in the business.
Embrace your personality
Lose the corporate approach. It’s boring; plain and simple. Be crazy, be funny and act like your customers are your friends. People are more inclined to do business with people they like, so don’t be afraid to be yourself. According to Tron Jordheim of StorageMart, both employees and customers appreciate a lighter atmosphere; therefore, in his company he teaches a technique called, “The chuckle rule,” – for a every chuckle you share with a customer the odds of getting their business is greatly increased.
Take a controversial approach
This may sound risky, but if executed properly it could work in your favour. In an interview with Entrepreneur Magazine Perry Marshal – author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing – stated that “It’s more powerful to be polarizing than it is to be neutral.” This could dramatically raise the profile of your business as it could turn customers into fans. Of course, this approach requires a great deal of caution and could work against you if executed poorly. Just remember, none of the world’s most successful brands would be here today if they didn’t take risks.
Design an interesting website
The Internet is the most powerful marketing tool available, yet very few brands actually use it effectively. When you’re building a brand having a website is crucial, but do not copy an existing brand’s design. The same goes for social media pages, web copy, email newsletters and anything else that’s web-related. Virtually every business seems to be copying each other; ecommerce websites mimic Amazon, bidding websites mimic eBay, and almost everyone who uses WordPress uses the same five templates. This is boring, and bored people won’t remember your brand, let alone become a customer.
Mark Tilghman of FORMO states that ‘only’ is the most powerful word in marketing. In order to stand out against the competition you must know what ‘only’ your business can do. Too many businesses are merely clones of others and provide exactly the same offerings. Before you can truly market your brand you need ask yourself, “What is my only-ness?” And then base your marketing message around that particular element.
Just because there’s a common universal approach to conducting business, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow it. Good branding is about finding new marketing avenues that are engaging and entertaining. If everybody were to follow the same mould some of the most prestigious brands in the modern world simply wouldn’t exist. Fundamentally, if you have a product you believe in that has some unique element, then you’re already on the right track. Providing you’re creative in your approach, making others believe in it too will be much easier.