In this day and age, consumers are spoiled with choices on brands, products and services. As they have the flexibility to choose, the perception of a brand is one of the biggest factors informing customer decisions and why they choose to purchase with one company over another. Therefore, one of the best things you can do for your business is to differentiate yourself from your competitors through branding to connect with your customers.
What is branding?
Branding is the process of placing meaning in products, services, and companies by shaping a brand in the consumer’s mind. This is what helps identify you from your competitors and share the experience of your product by explaining what your brand is and what it is not. Branding also establishes a company’s reputation which can impact how connected your employees are to the brand and who might want to invest in it. The most important part of branding is making sure your product always aligns with your values, passions, and promises. This will help you to attract and retain customers.
How to build a strong brand
It is important to understand that products are more than just products, they create experiences. To build a strong, successful brand, you need to communicate the authentic experiences your product provides. Alongside experiences, brands are known for their personality, social values, and authenticity. As consumers’ needs and experiences are constantly changing, a strong brand will learn to adapt to meet these. All brands run the risk of controversies and scandals which is why it is so important to create your brand identity around trust and being transparent and credible. More than this, it is also important your brand has a strong personality to stand out and allow consumers to relate to you, especially for the younger generations such as Millennials and Generation Z. Read more about influencer marketing here as a strategy to establish this credibility.
How to differentiate your brand…
There are many ways you can engage in brand differentiation such as packaging, creating an identity, and advertising. Forbes explains five ways you can outshine your competitors through branding. First is to create an experience by using positive interactions, interactive campaigns and consistent branding. Naked Marketing demonstrates this on Instagram by using interactive posts as well as consistent branding through the brand voice and the design.
Second, is to stay fresh by using advanced technology and unique looks as well as introducing new products to keep customers curious and buzzing. Naked Marketing demonstrates this through a lockdown deal of a $99 per month website package to get your business online in 7 days. This was a new product which kept customers interested as it is an insanely good deal.
Third, is to offer a solution by identifying pain points of your consumers they can’t solve on their own and which they will need you for. Naked Marketing did this through the $99 per month website package as they explained the importance of having a website as online shopping has risen substantially. They identified the problem to consumers, not having a website when it is crucial, while offering an affordable website package as a solution.
Fourth, is to be a know-it-all or a thought-leader. Credibility is so important when establishing a strong brand. Delivering explainer videos, top tips or high-quality content are ways you can establish credibility while also expressing how knowledgeable your company is. Naked Marketing does this through their many videos on top tips such as how to generate leads and staying active on social media.
Fifth, is to connect with your audience. This might sound like common sense, and it is, but it is one of the most important parts! Connecting with your target market’s culture is essential to become the ‘go to’ brand. Naked Marketing has done this in many ways, such as with ‘The Carpool Honcho’ which is a spin-off of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ including business advice and an entertaining video all in one!
Brand differentiation examples
Another example of how brands have effectively differentiated themselves on social media is by playing on current events online. For example, at the start of October last year, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went down for about six hours which became disruptive to so many people as they all rely heavily on these apps in their daily lives. This caused people to run to Twitter for the day where many companies made light of the situation. This is an example of how you can communicate and connect with your audience in a setting that is much less formal which social media is great for.
So, to wrap it all up, the top 5 ways you can differentiate your brand is by creating an experience, staying fresh, offering a solution, being a thought-leader, and connecting with your audience. These factors help to build a strong brand and differentiate you from competitors, which in saturated markets like today is essential! A good place to start when thinking about your brand is, “if my brand was a person, what personality would they have?” Still not sure where to start or want to learn more about how to differentiate your brand through marketing? Contact us for advice today!