Fortune 500 corporations have entire teams tasked with building comprehensive branding strategies. So how are the “little guys” supposed to compete with that? A few simple, savvy strategies can go a long way in steering your brand in the right direction.
- Be proactive. Whether you dictate it or not, your brand will eventually earn a reputation. That will either come passively through online reviews, customer word-of-mouth, and the occasional press event, or it will come proactively through branding efforts of your own. We call these “talking points.” What do you communicate about your brand? And how does your brand communicate? Both your voice and your content should be consistent. When you’re consistent in what you communicate, it will eventually be heard.
- Practice what you preach. It’s easy to promise a premium experience. It’s another thing to follow through on that promise. Your brand should set expectations accurately in the eyes of your customers. For your brand, that means that a personal, friendly brand should look quite different than a high-end, luxury brand. Both may be quality businesses with happy customers, but they shouldn’t look the same. Setting expectations through branding will keep you from missing the mark.
- Don’t follow the pack. With thousands of ads bombarding your customers’ eyes each day, it’s quite easy to invest lots of money into an advertising campaign, only to have it go completely unnoticed. Your messaging has to stand out. It can’t just be 10% better than the “other guy.” It needs to be different. What about you is different than your competition? How can you communicate familiar concepts in new ways? Your answer to those questions will be the key to breaking through the noise.