Branding is complex. Many businesses don’t have a clue on what to focus on, or what to do to stand out. This turns their products into 'common' unheard products.
Let's face it. Consumers prefer buying from popular brands. Branding is, thus, very important. Otherwise, your small business will never make it past a five-year milestone. The United States is drowning in brands. The country has over 30 million small businesses. Although it's just a small fraction of these businesses compete with yours, it's an overwhelming number to deal with in this digital era.
If you want your target audience to notice your brand, you need to stand out from your competitors. But then, how do you make your brand stand out? Make sure your brand has these crucial qualities:
You might be tempted to mimic successful brands, but that's a mistake. People like authenticity and originality. If your brand lacks originality and authenticity, consumers won't have a compelling reason to choose you. They will choose other brands. If you want your business to stand out from the rest, you need to attract consumers who will like and support your brand. You can only do that if you're authentic.
To be original, you need to find an angle that none of your competitors is using or has used before. Use it to develop a voice and an image that will define your business. That won't be easy, but it's a very important step if your brand has to stand out.
You need to show your customers the human side of your brand, especially on social media. Of course, it's easier to reply to your customers with generic corporate responses. But then, can that make your customers trust you? Of course not. They will actually see your business as a machine that has no soul. You need to show commitment to your customers.
Invest your time and money to create a brand that shows you as a human and a friend to your customers, and not as a profit-oriented corporation. Do things they can relate to. Show them what happens behind the scenes. Spare some time, for instance, 45 minutes every day, to reply to your customers' questions and concerns instead of replying with generic responses. This way, you'll build trustworthy relationships with your customers.
The most successful brands in the world, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple, stands out from the rest by ensuring their customers know that they understand all their issues.
To make sure your target audience know that you understand their issues, you need to create messaging that's relevant for only one target niche. For instance, if you're targeting working college students, you might want to mention a common problem, like how difficult it is to balance work and school work. This way, you create sympathy and make it easier for your target audience to connect with you. In the long run, it will increase interactions with your brand, which will, in turn, result in increased traffic and conversions.
You'll need to research your target audience demographics on an ongoing basis. Make changes when necessary because people change all the time.
If there's one thing every corporate leader or business owner should know about brands, it is that successful brands are always bold. When it comes to branding, risks normally lead to rewards. Stand-out brands are never afraid of trying or designing new techniques. They aren't scared to take a stand on controversial issues facing their industry either.
Of course, this is somehow polarizing and can possibly alienate a portion of their audience, but it encourages more loyalty to consumers who stick around with them. In any case, every brand has fans and haters.
Remarkable goals and appealing messages are great, but you need to increase your brand's visibility. People need to see your brand, so they can respond. Although some customers will trickle in via organic searches and other ways, you need to increase your visibility to build your reputation.
There are several effective ways you can leverage to increase your brand's visibility. They include content campaigns, advertising, a social media strategy, and promotion materials, among others. The fundamental factor is that you need a medium to promote your messaging. Otherwise, it won't matter how captivating your messaging is. Apart from online through the Internet, you can increase your brand's visibility by giving your customers branded t-shirts or caps with appealing messages. Check out https://thrivescreenprinting.com/ for the best screen printing services in the country.
If you want your brand to avoid brand alienation, you need to remain consistent. You see, a consistent message doesn't only convey who you are as a company and what you do for your customers, but also shows your professionalism.
Consistency doesn't end with messaging. You need to maintain the high quality of your services and products. It gives your customers a sense of predictability and familiarity every time they turn to your products.
Image is very crucial when developing a brand that will stand out from the rest. However, it's crucial to look beyond the image when developing a brand. You can create a stand-out brand by offering more value than your competitors. You can achieve this by simply offering better services or products than those offered by your competitors.
Unfortunately, there aren't many brands that can be this competitive without eating into profits. However, you can offer value in terms of more informative content and dedication to personalized customer services.
The above factors will help you build a brand that will stand out from your competitors. In addition, you should avoid the following branding mistakes if you want to develop a stand-out brand.
1. Having a tagline that isn't believable
Imagine this. You went to J.C. Penney's a couple of times, and every time, you couldn't find what you were looking for. Would you believe their tagline 'It's all inside'? We guess not. Your tagline needs to match the reality for your target audience. Otherwise, they won't believe it, and they will kill your marketing efforts by word of mouth.
2. Failure to monitor tracking efforts
Every time a customer contacts your office, either through social media, phone, email, or other ways, you should make an effort to ask them how they knew about your company. Keep such records and use them to direct your future branding efforts.
3. Trying to appease everyone
There's no one brand that's liked by everybody. Every brand has fans and haters. Even the most popular brands, such as Apple, have a good share of haters. No matter how excellent your branding efforts are, not everyone will like you. But then, that shouldn't be a concern as long as your story is true. Instead, focus on messaging and image.
4. Failing to connect with the right audience
Connecting with the right audience is a crucial step in developing a successful brand. When developing your branding strategy, you must understand your target audience:
- What do they do?
- Where are they?
- What are their needs?
- How old are they?
- What's their income?
5. Failure to train employees
Involve your employees in your branding efforts. Think of them as potentially walking and talking billboards. Train them to be community ambassadors of your brand and reward those doing it right.
6. Trying too hard to stand out
Standing out for the sake of standing out isn't branding. Yes, your brand will be noticed, but not in a way that's likely to increase sales. You wouldn't want that, would you?
7. Lack of a clear plan
All companies want to establish brand identity and have stand-out brands, but few have resources set aside and a clear plan on how they will reach their target audience. You need to have a sound branding strategy to be successful.
8. Failure to admit mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. Even the most successful brands mess up sometimes. If you mess up, the only way to claw yourself back some reputation is to admit your mistake, to apologize, and to look remorseful. Admit your mistake early and rectify it as soon as possible.
9. Thinking too small
No one would blame you, but some businesses are very local, especially online businesses. You see, most of your clients may be from New York, but your company may have a global reach even without much effort. Ensure your branding doesn't offend or discourage potential international clients from doing business with you.
10. Reinventing your brand too often
Branding won't solve every other problem your company is facing, as some people believe. They start focusing on short-term goals, and end up frustrated when their branding efforts fail to show significant results. They abandon their branding strategy even before it develops fully. They decide to reinvent with the hope that reinventing the brand will help the business grow. Reinventing too often shows you're not sure about the company and what you're offering. It will be difficult for the target audience to develop a connection with your brand. Why? It's always changing.