It’s time to face the music; your product or service isn’t original. Everywhere you look there are other businesses that are doing the same thing you are, and with bigger marketing budgets. How do you compete?
In this tough marketplace you have two choices, you can either tuck your tail between your legs and back down, or you can create a brand that is truly different and stands out in the crowd.
With these three keys you will be able to do just that and more, you’ll create a memorable brand that will carry you to where you want to go and beyond.
The best way to differentiate yourself in a noisy market is to consider the one thing that is truly unique about you and your business. Your personality is the one thing that no one else has, and it’s what is going to appeal most to your target market. If they jive with your personality they are going to want to purchase your products.
Your brand personality is a large part of how you are perceived by the outside world and how you position yourself against the competition. Are you fun? Dependable? Edgy? If you look at some of the most successful brands out there you’ll see that their expression of personality is what attracts rabid fans.
Take Apple, Google, or Nike as examples. Each of these brands has a very unique personality even though they are huge companies. They also tend to attract customers that have that same type of personality.
Consider how you would perceive your brand if it was a person. What kind of personality would it have? By expressing your personality in your brand and marketing, you will make a stronger connection with your target audience and ultimately resonate with those that are going to be your best clients.
Obviously the quality of your product or service is paramount to your success. If you’re selling a shoddy product you aren’t going to last long. On the other hand, you could have the best product or service out there, but if your brand doesn’t scream quality right off the bat, well you might as well pack it up right now.
One of the most important and easiest ways to jack up your quality perception is through the Standard Credibility Builders that are described in Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port. The standard credibility builders are as simple as having a professional headshot, well designed business cards, quality product packaging and, of course, a well designed website. Anything that makes a first impression before you even open your mouth is a standard credibility builder.
Do your branding materials scream quality? Does your product? If you don’t immediately say yes, then you need to fix that now.
3. Your Brand Promise
As mentioned before, no matter what it is you’re offering your market, whether it be a physical product or a service, someone else is probably offering something very similar. Your brand promise goes a step further than what you’re offering and also incorporates what you stand for. What can your customers expect from you?
This is similar to a mission statement, but it also speaks to what results your customers can expect when they engage with you. It is also how you position yourself in the market and what sets you apart from your competitors.
For example, if you consider car commercials you’ll notice that different companies have different brand promises, even though they are all selling cars. Volkswagen is selling safety, BMW is selling luxury, and Subaru is selling dependability. They are promising that their cars will deliver these things above all else, and when a potential customer is ready to buy a car they are going to go with the one that promises them the result they are looking for more so than which one is going to get them from point A to point B.
Your brand promise will set you apart because it connects with your customers on an emotional level, and is unique to you.
When you build a brand around these three principles, you create something that no one else has and you elevate your business to the forefront of your niche. You’ll not only set yourself apart as truly unique, but you’re also going to attract an audience that resonates with you on a deeper level and will keep coming back to you over and over again.