Your brand = what people think, say and feel about your business
Your brand is the whole array of communication tools that need to be carefully aligned and working together to cut through the competition. Making a difference lies in having a strong brand proposition and how well you can communicate it.
This is what branding exists for – finding uniqueness, desirability and usefulness in what you do and communicating this to the market in an engaging way.
1. Be believable
To stand out your brand message must not only be emotionally compelling it must also be convincing with real world proof points. Creating a balance between these two is what ensures how much influence your brand will be able to command in the marketplace.
2. Focus only on business strengths
What has made you successful to date? It may seem obvious but the power in your brand comes from your unique expertise and success. No one ever makes a difference with their weaknesses to stand out in the market it takes strength.
Don’t pick a message you can’t defend and don’t focus efforts on areas where you are weak – rather focus on those areas where you and your organisation are gifted.
3. Create a niche for yourself
Take a position and own it - A good understanding of your customer priorities is vital. What drives their decision to buy?
What should your brand represent in their mind and will that resonate in the buying process? It's common to try to cover as many things as possible with a brand position.
Don’t try to be all things to all men, you will only end up being the master of none.
4. Know yourself inside out
Start with studying your clients as they reflect your true business success. What is common to your best clients?
Interviewing your clients is a good way to uncover your true market appeal. Why did they choose you? Why do they stay? Would they recommend you? What do your competitors do that you could do better? Is there anything you can offer that they can’t?
5. Communicate the difference
Once you find your chosen message or combination of messages to differentiate your business, all of your branding and promotion should be centered around that difference.
Commit to it, stick with it and don’t wander off in the next new direction. Building a brand takes time and patience.
The payoff, however, is what differentiates the winners from the losers in marketing.