Are you struggling to make your business stand out from others in your niche? Figuring out how to brand your company and stay in the forefront of customers’ minds is challenging for most small business owners. Join us in this article as we discuss Making Your Brand Stand Out From The Competition.
In the United States alone, there are more than 30 million small businesses. Of course, how many fall into the competition category depends on your location and the specific organization you run.
Fortunately, there are some key things you can do that make a brand stand out without spending a fortune. Read on to discover eight tips for improving your company’s visibility and increasing your reach no matter what type of business you own.
1. Tell Your Story
The most critical part of making your brand stand out from the competition is telling the story of who you are. Why did you start your company? What is your purpose?
Regardless of how silly you think your story is, it’s best if you highlight them when showcasing your brand. You’ll never know how these stories can touch people’s lives, and become the reason why your business will gain more and more customers in the long run.
Answering these questions and letting your target audience know your answers will help your business stand out from the competition. With the number of businesses selling different types of products and services today, your story can become your edge.
Think about some of the more notable big name brands you know. Some companies started in someone’s apartment or garage, while others began because the person had a cause they cared about. What’s your unique story?
Other organizations might copy what you do or even your website design, but their story isn’t yours. The history of your brand and why you started it is entirely yours and gives you an edge over every other person in the field.
2. Embrace Rebranding
If your model is very close to other businesses like yours, it might be time to rebrand. Rebranding allows you to set yourself apart from your challengers.
Some rebranding techniques you might find particularly helpful include a chance to find new target markets and show off innovations in your company. Rebranding efforts can be small, such as revamping your logo, or as large as completely renaming your company.
You can also come up with newer products and services that will suit a bigger target market. For example, if your business has been selling clothes for children, you can embrace rebranding by selling clothes for parents as well.
Aside from expanding your reach, catering to another target market can also help your business stand out from the competition. This is especially true if your competitors have been catering to the same target audience for years.
Make sure you know the reasons for rebranding as it does require effort. However, if leads are having a hard time telling the difference between you and your nearest competition, it might be the best strategy.
3. Find Creative Solutions
Speaking of innovations, when you brainstorm with your top employees and find creative solutions for your customers, you develop a reputation for superiority. Do more than deliver — go beyond what the customer expects.
Take a proactive approach to engage your employees. Studies show simple techniques such as light exercise optimize the human brain for creativity, so try a short walk around the block as your team brainstorms. Keep a whiteboard up so people can scribble thoughts on it throughout the day.
You can also encourage open dialogue and get rid of bad habits such as multitasking and distractions, including cell phones. Reward employees who come up with fixes for your customers you would never think of on your own.
Employees are one of the most important resources of your business, which is why you should always utilize their skills and appreciate them for their hard work.
You’ll have a hard time standing out from the competition if you choose to work on your own.
4. Increase Brand Awareness
Why do you think brand awareness makes a company stand out from the competition? When a consumer contemplates the product or service you sell, you want them to think of you first.
Entire books exist on increasing brand awareness. Some simple things you can do include coming up with a succinct message about how you can help the consumer, using your logo and name everywhere you have a presence and getting your name out in the local community via fairs and events.
Take free press and any other opportunity that arises for your brand. Sponsor a local children’s sports team, or give out gifts to community leaders. Wrap your vehicles with your brand name and logo.
5. Show Off Your Personality
Did you know your brand has a unique personality? Perhaps your company is fun and youthful, or maybe you’re very serious and smart because you deal with finances. Figure out what your personality is as a firm.
Once you understand what makes you tick, think about how your marketing represents who you are. If you have a fun personality and put out serious marketing videos, the two won’t match up, and buyers may get confused.
Think about the tone you use in marketing efforts as well as the culture of your company and how well it meshes. If you don’t like the personality of your brand, it’s never too late to change it. Simply make updates with deliberation and a goal in mind.
6. Embrace a Cause
Accenture’s annual Global Consumer Pulse report shows consumers expect brands to align with their personal beliefs. Around 52% of those surveyed stated they look for a company that stands for something bigger than just selling a product. About half of consumers search for brands that support common causes.
Be careful when choosing what you promote. Some topics are highly controversial and may lose you customers. Make sure you have a passion for the charity or work, or people will see you as just trying to turn a profit.
With the number of organizations and causes you can invest in today, make sure that you choose one that suits your business’s culture and goals.
If your business sells books, and other educational materials for students, you can work with organizations and charities that help send less fortunate children to school.
Once you start down the road of altruism, look for areas that might appear hypocritical. For example, you promote a greener earth, but your CEO flies a private jet to and from board meetings in another city. Ask for outside analysis to make sure you’re walking the walk you promote for others.
7. Create a Unique Experience
If you want your business to be truly memorable, you must create a unique experience for your customers. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, you might create an experiential entrance that makes them think they’ve stepped back in time.
For businesses that are online or work remotely, the experience may be more in the apps you offer or the interaction a user has with your brand. For example, an online furniture retailer might offer an app where you can use augmented reality (AR) to plop the latest table arrivals into position in your living room.
8. Solve Problems
The primary reason people search for your type of business is because they have a problem that needs solving. Think about the pain points of your typical customers. What is the issue they have, and how can you fix it?
When putting a message out, focus on how you can solve the problem for the user. While people care about reviews of your brand and your back story, they care most about how you can help them.
When marketing your products and services, for example, do not immediately tell your customers to buy from you. Instead, you can start by identifying their problems, and then providing effective solutions. This will make your brand more relatable, and make it very easy for your customers to create an emotional connection with you.
Another idea is to solve some minor issues at no charge to ensure they’ll come back for the bigger ones. For example, a heating and cooling company might offer a video on how to swap out your furnace filter. The idea is that the consumer will remember their brand name when they need a repair or replacement.
Want to Jumpstart Your Brand Strategy? Become Customer-Centric
The best way to stand out to individuals is to improve your business’s buyer journey — the experience someone has with your brand. Current customers are worth far more than new customers. Not only do they spend more, but they tend to tell others, increasing your word-of-mouth marketing. If you focus on the consumers, your brand name will get glowing reviews.
We hope you have enjoyed this article about Making Your Brand Stand Out From The Competition, feel free to leave your comments below we love to hear from our readers.
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Lexie Lu is a designer and UX strategist. She enjoys covering topics related to UX design, web design, social media, and branding. Feel free to subscribe to her design blog, Design Roast, or follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner
Also published on Medium.