There’s never been more pressure to stand out from the crowd, to be a pink whale in a sea of blue. In today’s fast paced, quick thinking, marketing-centric business world, it is important to have a clear brand strategy as a focal point in your marketing strategy.
To create a brand that shows what makes you different, to be clear about what makes your service or product different and why should a customer buy from you.
In the most recent Marketing Strategy show, we interviewed Mitch Duckler, the author of “The Indispensable Brand” to find what makes a business brand Indispensable and to get his views on Brand Strategy.
What makes your brand BOLD?
As we discussed in the podcast, you want a brand that is seen as “indispensable”. Simply put, an indispensable brand is a brand you cannot live without. A great example of such a brand is Starbucks (especially in the USA). If Starbucks were to disappear tomorrow, it would probably disappoint a lot of American consumers. It becomes almost a part of your routine. Not many brands have an indispensable personality.
This can also apply to many businesses. Being indispensable has a "personal" component. You can hone in on that and focus on the personal, face to face, experience provided to your customers. Think about the experience your customer goes through when buying from you and really use the positives in that to create your own indispensable brand.
Four Tips to help your Brand be BOLD:
There are many ways to determine your brand, but here are four simple approaches:
1 - The WHAT
Most businesses find the WHAT fairly easy to determine as it is universal or generic. The what is the product or service you are providing to your customers.
An example of this is a car. You need a car to get from A to B. That is what the end benefit is for a customer and is what we call “Conventional Wisdom”.
Conventional Wisdom is offering your point of difference through the end benefit to the customer. It refers to commonplace ideas and opinions that are known and accepted to be true and factual about the product or service.
Many businesses use Conventional Wisdom as a foundation of their Branding Strategy and use the obvious benefits to deliver the message. There are other strategies you can use to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Which brings me to my next tip…
2 - The HOW
Whilst some foundations focus on the WHAT, there are many who focus on the HOW as a branding strategy. How does one brand differ from the next even though the end benefit is the same.
A great example of this is Tesla vs Toyota. Both cars get you from A to B but it’s their offering that makes them different.
A Tesla is a luxury car that focuses on the driving experience itself, whilst Toyota focuses on reliability and being economical. This is what makes them different and unique.
Professional services can use the HOW to make their brand stand out. If you are a service based company, what is it about your delivery that you can focus that makes you different from someone offering the same services?
If your people are your point of different, bear in mind that other businesses in the same field may use their people as a branding strategy as well. Really hone in on what makes you different, what makes your people different, their exceptional qualities and use that in your Branding Strategy.
3 - The WHY
Many consumers nowadays are more interested in what the company stands for, who they support and what their WHY is rather than the product. This can be your brand foundation.
These are mission driven companies like Pantagonia, a company who is in business to save the planet. There are some consumers who won’t care about such a mission but Pantagonia is okay with that. They focus on their WHY and what they believe.
4 - The WHO
There are brands that are almost entirely defined by their target audience. A really good example to use here is the famous US soft drink, Mountain Dew. They are defined by their sports following and have created their entire branding around their followers.
This is possible in every business. Let’s go back to the example of a Professional Services business. Using this as a basis for your Brand can be done if you focus on becoming the expert in a certain category in particular.
For example, as a lawyer, really focus on the types of cases that you take on and use that as a focal point to become an expert in that area. Another example would be in the business coaching industry. If most of your clients are electricians, plumbers or mechanics, you can focus your energy and expertise in becoming a business coach expert in the Trade Industry.
A Final Caution...
As a business owner or manager, you may start focusing on your internal processes first.
You begin to focus on making sure your product is what people want, or your service is impeccable. You want your customer service to be talked about and your processes and systems to be faultless. This is a great example of “Internal Lenses”. It is what you see inside the organisation. It is the education process that you and your team go through to create your brand whether it’s using the WHO, WHAT, HOW or WHY foundations.
However, you have to combine your internal lenses to your external lenses to get a view of your competitors and your market.
Use what you research you have available on both customers and competitors to ensure you have a brand that appeals to customer needs and differentiates you from the competitor. Focus on what works and use that in your Brand Strategy.
This approach will help your consumers understand your brand and why you as a company are different from others. Use this as a strategy to get a piece of the market and your brand and your business will succeed.
If you need to chat to someone about your Brand Strategy and understand how you can make your brand BOLD, we'd love to help to make this happen for your business. You can reach us on (02) 9125 0520 or visit our website.