If you want to stand out, you can’t copy and paste another company’s strategy.
In today’s highly-competitive marketplace, a solid brand identity is critical. Your branding needs to differentiate what you do and how you do it. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel; there are proven marketing tactics that can be utilized for your business. Just think of your branding strategy as being less like a form letter – and more like Mad Libs®.
What is branding, anyway?
Branding is the process of conveying your business’ personality. It involves establishing how you want your customers to perceive you, and then it sets the tone for conveying that message. Your brand identity incorporates more than just your product or service, and it is more complicated than choosing the right logo. Your branding covers your user experience (UX) and every touchpoint your company has with its clients – from postcards and newsletters to your website and product packaging.
Why is branding crucial?
If you can be consistent with your branding, then you can differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
Your branding needs to:
- Establish your perceived value – While you do need to highlight why customers should choose your product or service over others in the marketplace, you also need to present what value you want customers to identify with your offering. Is it quality, craftsmanship, innovation, affordability, or customer service?
- Create a connection – The best brands have customers who are emotionally attached to their product. How can you connect with your audience? What makes your offering relatable? What will turn your clients into repeat customers?
- Be consistent across multiple channels – Every touchpoint needs to promote your brand identity. It’s not just about colors and fonts; your messaging also needs to be consistent. If you muddle your identity with multiple value statements, clients will get confused. What is the fundamental message you want to express?
How do you brand your business?
The first step is to prepare a branding strategy that incorporates your voice, extols your benefits, and propels your vision.
It needs to incorporate:
- Your daily mission
- Your vision for the future
- Your voice
- Product or service benefits
- Product or service features
- What people think about your company today versus what you want them to think
When you accumulate the above information, you will notice one thing: no other business can be exactly like yours. If you try to mold yourself into another organization’s template, you may end up losing what makes your company unique. The best branding strategies recognize this fact.
More Like Mad Libs®
Many companies fail at branding because they try to utilize a strategy that has worked for someone else. Looking at what a competitor has done is helpful, but repeating their exact steps is futile. If you want to stand out, you can’t copy and paste another company’s strategy; it will make your business seem unoriginal – like an imitator instead of an innovator.
You don’t have to start from scratch. Take tried-and-true marketing methods and put your personal spin on them. Customers will appreciate your viewpoint more than you know – especially in today’s content-rich world.
Just like a Mad Libs® story, your brand story can be exceptional – if you fill in your own blanks.