Ironically, as I look out the window today, the snow is falling. This early in the season it is something that I enjoy seeing; however, in about 2 months it all becomes one of the same to me. What will I remember about this snowfall that makes it stand out? This is the first one that has stuck for the season. Scientists believe the chance that any two flakes are exactly alike is virtually zero (National Geographic). The same should be true with your business and brand. You should embrace branding to ensure that your brand stands out and has something different to draw people to you. Is your brand as unique as a snowflake?
Think about the businesses that stand out in your mind. Likely they grabbed your attention and stay at the front of your thoughts because they are unlike most other brands and left some type of lasting impression on you; good or bad. Branding is key to having a successful business and should be the driving force behind all your marketing efforts.
Having a strong distinctive brand to identity your business is an extremely important factor in its success. The right branding can help build reputation and make you stick out from your competition and project your ideals to attract your ultimate audience and customer. With the right branding, your business can be just as unique as that white stuff that falls from the sky at this time of the year.
Your brand is your business’s identity. It creates the image that you wish to portray and helps you set out that picture perfect winter postcard scene. Branding is one of your company’s most valuable assets and is one of the things that is easiest for you to control.
Although your visual brand identity is important, your brand includes more than your logo. Branding isn’t just about a catchy slogan or tagline, colorful wrapping, notable symbols; branding is about how you make your audience and customers feel. It can be argued that the feeling you create for people who interact with your brand is more valuable than all the other elements of branding combined.
As Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your product leaves an impression on your customers long after you’ve made the sale or they have left your website. Brand identity is the process of shaping that impact.
Creating a strong brand identity can be challenging. We can’t all be as lucky as the crystals that form from above and just come down distinctive; we must work for it. A strong brand has the below characteristics:
- Communicates your business’s personality and shapes your customers’ perceptions of who you are
- Projects the expectations and promises you extend to your customers in terms of quality, service, reliability and trustworthiness
- Creates trust and loyalty from those who do business with you
- Shows that you care and value your customers and their business
- Helps the audience differentiate you from your competitors, making you as unique as a snowflake
- Positively influences customers’ purchasing decisions, directly impacting your profitability
When it comes to building your brand, you must do your homework. You should:
- Research your audience, value proposition, and competition
- Design the visuals and set brand standards across the organization
- Integrate language you can use to connect, advertise, and embody on social media
- Know what to avoid
- Be aware of your competition and what tactics they are using
- Continuously monitor your brand to maintain its brand identity
The above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating your brand. To ensure you create a brand that embodies uniqueness and creates success, give these tips a swirl as well.
1. Define how people see your business and brand
The interesting thing about your brand is it’s never what you say it is, it’s what everyone else says it is. Therefore, the first place to begin in the building the growth of your brand is to know what people think of you and your business (Paul C. Brunson). You can find out how others view your business by searching for your brand through search engines online, holding a focus group, or asking your customers and website visitors for their thoughts and feedback.
2. Build your online presence
Your business needs to create an online persona that makes viewers and customers want to come back. Viewers visit so many websites a day and the websites that stand out, are the ones that typically catch their interest, and in turn, gain their business. We have said it before and we will again, amplify your content and engage with your audience on social networks. Having a conversation with your audience may be one of the most impactful things you can do as a business. Be authentic, have a unique voice, empower your customers, and add value to your audience’s day to day lives.
3. Shovel your brand into everything your business does
Branding should be a large part of everything your company does. It should be integrated into your business and embraced by all. The same message should be sent across all your business platforms and throughout your organization. Being consistent to who your unique brand is, will help you to stand out. As a customer, think about the brands that you are most loyal to. Chances are that they’ve earned your trust because they are dependable, and you know what you are going to get and experience on every interaction with them.
4. Don’t try to please everyone
As with winter, not everyone is going to be your biggest fan. Learn to be the best brand possible to your ideal audience. Don’t be afraid to allow your brand to be as unique as a snowflake; even if that means saying the things that no one else will. Remember, you’re not in business to please everyone. You’re in business to grow your business and brand.
5. Add value to your audience
Your business should be producing value with everything you do. Socially conscious values have been in focus in recent years, and the current COVID-19 crisis will likely accelerate this trend. This means businesses must communicate a strong sense of their brands’ purpose; and have a strong social presence. Businesses should embrace “word of mouse” advertising now more than ever. When thinking about the value that you can add for your customers, ask questions like; What sets your product, service and company apart from your competitors? How do these benefits tap into your customers’ emotions? Is the brand in sync with how the business is being marketed?
Your brand should be uniquely you, and as unique as a snowflake, if you want to stand out this winter. Branding is the key component to setting your business apart from your competition.
Water Bear Marketing™ is here to help. Us water bears understand the value of being distinctive. Let us guide you through your brand journey and help you create a one of a kind experience for your audience and customers. Contact us today for a free consultation.