4 Strategies to Make Your Brand Stand Out
If you’re competing in a crowded market space, having a brand that stands out can be the difference between thriving in your niche and dying in obscurity. If you’re selling the same thing as everybody else, your customers have no compelling reason to buy from you instead of someone else. Giving your customers an incentive to pick you over the competition is what branding strategy is all about. Here are four strategies you can use to set your brand apart from the competition and keep customers coming to you instead of your rivals.
Develop Branding Goals and Strategies
A good case study in successful branding is Amway. Amway has built a reputation as the world’s leading direct selling company. To achieve this status, the company had to differentiate itself from other companies in this space that have tarnished the image of multi-level marketing by misusing MLM for pyramid scams. To set itself apart from these companies, Amway has built a reputation for quality products in markets such as health and beauty and home care, distinguishing itself from companies that promise riches without delivering anything tangible.
It has also emphasized how its business model promotes a mutually-beneficial partnership between the company and its representatives in contrast to pyramid structures that funnel all the money to the top without benefiting downstream participants. And it has mounted a public education campaign to make prospects aware of the difference between Amway and less reputable competitors.
Articulating your branding goals is a first step toward this type of successful branding campaign. Typical goals include building brand awareness, creating an emotional association for your brand that connects with your target audience, distinguishing your products from those of competitors, building credibility and trust and motivating your market to want to buy from you instead of someone else. Branding experts Bill Chiaravalle and Barbara Findlay Schenck recommend listing your branding goals and then prioritizing them so you can focus on your top priorities.
Use a Unique Selling Proposition
In recent years, Starbucks has found itself pressed to stand out in a field of coffee providers that has grown increasingly crowded, with Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s and Coffee Bean all jockeying for market share. To differentiate itself, Starbucks rolled out an advertising campaign featuring a new slogan with a guarantee: “Our Barista Promise: Love your beverage or let us know. We’ll always make it right.”
Starbucks’ slogan is an example of what marketers call a unique selling proposition (USP): an offer that promises a compelling benefit your competition isn’t delivering. Using a USP can make you stand out from your competition by letting customers know why they should choose you instead. You can develop a USP by emphasizing differentiators such as quality, service or specialization in a particular market niche. Your USP should be integrated into all your sales material for a consistent branding message.
Create a Brand Style Guide
Apple has carefully cultivated a reputation for quality. To maintain this reputation, the company requires its channel affiliates and Apple-certified individuals to abide by a brand style guide that spells out how Apple’s brand must be present in promotional material. For instance, the guide specifies what colors, sizes and typography are acceptable when displaying the Apple logo.
Codifying your branding policies in this type of style guide can help ensure that all your marketing material and customer service interactions represent a consistent branding message. Create a brand style guide to document your policies, and then make sure that your marketing and customer service teams are familiar with your guidelines and following them.
Enforce Your Branding Guidelines with DAM Tools
To make sure your marketing team follows your branding guidelines, a best practice is to use digital asset management (DAM) software. DAM software solutions such as Webdam provide a cloud-based digital library that lets your team organize, use and share files that meet your brand style guidelines. Employing a DAM solution helps ensure that everyone on your marketing team is on the same page when it comes to branding.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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