How to develop a standout brand and why it’s so important

standoutAlmost everything and everyone is a brand these days…either one that you’ve heard of and associate with, or one that you don’t. The greatest challenge that any brand has is cutting through the noise.

With so much information around, consumers are increasingly curating what they do and don’t engage with and creating their own echo chambers…The TV channels they watch out of the choice of hundreds and the programmes they select to watch (most frequently pre-recorded). Selecting which social media platforms they’re on and who they engage with on them. How they shop (online / offline), where they shop (Waitrose / Asda / Lidl), the music they enjoy, the radio stations they listen to, the people they speak to, their circle of friends…

My god. Getting your brand noticed is bloody difficulty these days…so how do you do it?

Let’s go back to basics.

A brand is a promise to your customer of what you do and how you do it. It isn’t just a pretty logo or typeface applied to a business like a thin veneer. Consumers are savvy. They can see right through made-up brands that don’t deliver on their promises.

If you want more consumers and ultimately have a more successful business, you need to develop your brand authentically to become more compelling.  It’s this that makes the difference between consumers loving and buying your product vs. not even being aware that you exist!

To develop an authentic, compelling brand you need to;

  • Be Distinctive
  • Communicate Less
  • Become Consumer Obsessed

Be Distinctive

Following the accepted norms in your sector is rarely the way to succeed.

If you follow the herd (and all look the same) no one stands out. There is some bravery required here…you know, in being different. But, if you look and act average…your results will be average as well (and building a brand is too hard to simply settle for average, right?) So, how do you identify and distil your distinctiveness vs. the crowd?

Ask yourself Why.

Why did you start this business?  What problem did you see that you’re trying to solve? How do you approach the issue differently from your competitors?  Are you bigger, smaller, quicker, leaner, more collaborative, more serious, or more fun? Recognise what your business does uniquely (it’s often a combination of what you do and how you do it) and then ensure it comes alive in every interaction your consumer has with you.

 

Communicate Less

Yep, you heard me.  A marketer telling you to communicate less!

We’re bombarded with communication from the moment we wake up and check our phones, until the minute we close our eyes every night. 90% of the communication aimed at us each day, our brains filter out automatically without us even ‘seeing it. Don’t believe me? What was advertised on your Facebook feed this morning?

In order for your message to cut through and engage your prospective consumer, it must be compelling and easy to understand. Most people can only hold three bits of information in their head at any moment. So make it easy for your consumers. Distil what you do, how you do it and why you do it down to three key messages. Say less to engage more.

 

Become Customer Obsessed

If you don’t already, you must zero in on your target consumer and really get to know them.

Become overzealous in your desire to meet their needs. Leave no stone unturned in understanding their hopes and dreams. In doing this, you’ll learn how to step into their shoes and ensure your brand truly resonates with them. By knowing what makes them tick, you can ensure that you communicate with them through the right channels, in the right tone, consistently.  Consistency of tightly targeted, meaningful communication will build a deep relationship with your consumers and practically eliminate your competition from their mind.

Successful brands deliver in all these areas, with a relentless focus on their consumer and recognise that marketing and branding is an action sport. Strategy is great, but only if you use it to drive action.

So make a commitment now to identify which of the 3 areas you’ll focus on and put aside some time over the next week to take one action in that area. It doesn’t have to be a big action…often smaller is better as you will deliver it more easily.

Then keep going…

At BrandWorks, we support food brand owners in reinvigorating and accelerating brand growth.

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