"When you brand yourself properly, the competition becomes irrelevant." Dan Schawbel Branding is the difference between wowing your clients and being instantly forgotten. In a world inundated with products and services, we’ve created filters to sift through all the cries for attention from competing brands. You really need to make an impact so you don’t get filtered out. There are quite a few ways this can be done with branding.
Think of the last time you went to an event and met 30 new people. Who stood out? Chances are, they stood because:
- They were beautiful
- They were really funny
- They seemed really interesting and personable
- You connected with them and related to them
It’s pretty much the same for your brand! You need to decide how you are going to distinguish yourself from all of the ‘Meh’ brands out there.
#1 Be consistent in your branding
Every time somebody sees and interacts with your brand, it should be reinforcing your brand visuals and message. When a brand becomes familiar to people, they subconsciously start to trust it. Do not mess up this opportunity by using several design styles and messages!
Take a look at your Business Cards, Website and Social Media Channels. Are they consistent? The overall look and feel should be the exactly the same, by using the same colours, fonts and similar imagery on every platform.
#2 Speak directly to your target market with your brand
Sometimes people feel they have to sound very professional and corporate to be taken seriously. But, chances are, that’s not the way your target market speaks. Completely evaluate your target market then visit your website. Are you speaking their language? To be seen you need to be direct and to the point and tell people exactly what you can do for them in a way that makes sense to them. Let them know you feel their pain and you can help them.
#3 Be authentic and share your story
I laugh when I get an email that begins with ‘Dear Subscriber’. Really? That’s the best you can do?! Your audience are real people and while this may sound obvious, a lot of brands tend to forget that. Visualise your ideal client when you write a social media post or email newsletter, imagine you are writing it for her alone. Your client isn’t a robot, so your brand needs to be relatable and authentic to connect with your target audience.
#4 Give and you shall receive
A sure fire way for people to remember you is to add value by giving, not selling. Think about something you have expertise in that others struggle with. Turn this into a giveaway and not only will you have people's attention but you will also have their email addresses for future marketing campaigns - bonus! You’ll be seen as an expert and establish trust with your target audience, which created the foundation of buying trust as customers.
#5 Dare to be different in your branding
The quickest way to differentiate your brand is to look at what your competition is doing and do the complete opposite. Ask yourself, what are the current pain points when customers deal with your competitors? As I was doing some groceries last week and about to grab some deodorant for my partner, my eyes were drawn to Shield Men. The biggest selling point, was a little icon that promoted the deodorant not leaving yellow stains on clothing. By researching a pain point of customers (staining clothing), they’re able to create a point of difference. They don’t alienate customers and the product's purpose is still well known but by being different - they now stand out and have an edge on the competition.
While there is no strict formula for creating a successful brand, you must be different. You have to stand out and find a way to be front of mind with your audience. Brainstorm what you want your brand to be known for - funny, beautiful, modern, cutting edge etc. Then ask yourself, how can I use this to create a brand that is memorable and stands apart from the crowd?
Kady O Connell is founder and director of Kady Creative, a Sydney design studio that allows you to be seen online. At Kady Creative, we ignite and translate your vision into killer branding + a dream website so you can be the spark you were made to be.