With hundreds of millions of small businesses around the world, making yours stand out is challenging. You know you’ve got a great product and team, but convincing other people of that fact is notoriously challenging. You’re doing everything you can to get the message about your company out there, but for some reason, it’s not sticking.
The trick here is to start behaving more like a big brand. Instead of playing it safe, you need to follow what the market leaders do if you want your company to be globally successful. Here’s what Fortune 500 firms do differently from everyone else.
There are branding services out there that will generate a logo for you in five minutes. These services take templates from your industry, play around with the colors a little bit, and then give you something you can slap on your website.
At first blush, it seems like a great deal. But when you really dig into it, it doesn’t actually work. Your brand winds up looking just the same as everyone else’s and it’s hard for you to stand out in any meaningful way.
Because of this, top companies make their brands 100 percent original. They ensure that nothing like them exists. Or if it does exist, they check that it will remain small compared to their brand.
Top brands aren’t always the cheapest, but they do offer tremendous value (perhaps the most value of any firm in their industry). They do this in many ways, including offering better products and services. But most importantly, they share this information through their brand. They make their marketing communicate their value to customers, pushing up their margins and making their enterprises more sustainable.
Ideally, you want a high-value brand that doesn’t eat into your profits. The goal of branding should be to differentiate yourself from the competition sufficiently without preventing you from making money.
Highly successful brands make sure that they are seen everywhere. That’s one of the reasons why more children recognize McDonald’s golden arches than the president of the U.S.
Visibility and repetition is the most powerful branding tool available to you. Just seeing your branding repeatedly makes customers more likely to trust you, even if you don’t offer them any additional content or assurances.
With this in mind, seek to leverage all possible opportunities to diversify your branding channels. Post on as many external publications as possible. And most importantly, get yourself seen. Focus on visibility over message, at least when you’re just starting out. Keep it simple and let people know what you do. Then allow the power of osmosis to do the rest of the work for you.
Getting brand experience right requires consistency. You need to ensure that customers know what to expect when they come to you. Try to avoid becoming a brand that constantly changes its approach. While it might seem like it keeps things interesting, it actually confuses consumers and leaves them wondering what you might do next.
The trick here is to give customers a sense of familiarity. Even though everything in the world is changing all the time, try to resist the temptation to change too much with it. Your brand should be a stable feature in your customers’ lives.
Being too bold can sometimes land you in trouble. But if you get it right, you can stand out from the competition.
Big brands aren’t afraid to make bold statements and show customers precisely who they are. They are occasionally controversial too if there is an issue they believe in.
The trick here is to make sure that you are bold in a way that your client base likes. Try not to overdo it on the political stuff if your customers come from both sides of the aisle. But don’t underdo it either so your audience sees you as “just another brand.” Find the middle way.
Top brands also have an innate understanding of the people they serve. They know how to approach their target audience and what their problems are.
You’ll want to do the same. You should understand the various pain points that the people who serve experience. You should then increase your interactions with them to the point where you can convince them that you can help.
Always research your demography and the real issues they face. Always take note if your demographic changes and you need to target a different audience.
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