Setting your brand apart is a key part of building a successful business. There is an overwhelming amount of competition for our customer’s attention and it is evident that we can no longer simply be more attractive than our direct competitors. We have to be more attractive than everything!
Setting your brand apart in this climate is vital not only for survival but for turning your customers into something more-for making them invested fans. By honing in these three critical branding factors, you can set your brand apart.
1. Understand your target audience.
Who is your customer? Do you know that? That's the first and most important question you can ask. If you don't know who your customer is, how will you ever present your product/service to them in a way that makes them want to buy in? Even more than knowing who they are, we need to truly understand them. This means getting into “psychographics”.
What are your customers' attitudes, opinions, values, and interests? What do they like to do? How do they behave? What does their lifestyle look like? Does your product/service fit into the already busy schedule of their lives or does your marketing slow them down? When we start by understanding our customer and work to see the world as they see it, we not only better connect with our customers but we begin to add real value to their lives.
2. Clearly develop the voice of your company’s brand.
Great brands have a clearly developed voice and that voice says a lot about the company. Define what voice you want to use with your customers. A conversational voice that asks questions and feels personal? An energetic and fun voice like Target, always accompanied by upbeat music and bright colors? Ask yourself, “After analyzing their psychographics, what voice would they best respond to?”
After asking yourself these questions and exploring this topic, sit down and write it out. Once you’ve created a running document detailing the voice of your company and how it should respond in different situations, use this as your guide to every piece of marketing content you produce.
When you develop a Facebook ad, reference this document. Every piece of copy, every ad, every customer service response should follow these guidelines and be consistent with your brand voice. When you do this, you build trust with your customer and create a foundation upon which to build your brand.
3. Be consistent with your marketing outputs.
After analyzing your target audience and developing your brand’s voice, use these elements to craft everything you do. Consistency in marketing efforts condition your customers. If you can make great promises and deliver on those promises time after time, you condition your customers to associate your business with a great product.
You can also do this in your marketing efforts. Use repetition and consistency to condition your target audience to feel a certain way about your brand. If you want people to trust you as a professional, make sure that you are consistently reinforcing your brand with voice and imagery that evokes feelings of security, professionalism, and excellence.
There have been countless studies that point to the fact that companies that choose to communicate consistently, visually and through voicing, are perceived as being as higher quality. These companies are considered to be worth up to 20% more valuable than those that are inconsistent.
If you want your brand to stand out, there is no magic bullet. You have to get down to ground level and see things through the eyes of your customer, speak to them in a way they understand, and keep connecting with them again and again. As you follow these principles and implement them into your business, you will not only have customers, you’ll have committed fans.