How to Define Your Brand To Stand Out From the Crowd
Former Nike and Starbucks executive Scott Bedbury said, “A brand is a story always being told”.
What story are you telling with your brand?
A good friend of mine loved my business name. In fact, whenever she was asked what she lived by she would say “I like to keep it simple — Simple Steps, do things simple, take simple steps.”
A good brand story is something that people still talk about when you’ve left the room. It’s the impression that you leave people with.
Your brand story should be built around your ideal client. Your client should see your message and want to be part of it. Whether your brand is a product or a service. Your audience when they come across your marketing will think, “Oh, this company or person has exactly what I need!”.
Your passionate, unique identity will resonate with your ideal client, building your following. But, how can you achieve this goal?
Build your brand voice
First, you have to decide what you’d like your brand voice to be. How you come across influences What do you prefer?
Laid-back and casual
Fun and playful
Corporate and serious
Professional and informative
A small business owner (use “I” and “me”)
Large company (use “we” and “us”)
Your brand voice will set the tone for every interaction with your audience. A simple, “Hey, take a look at the new product I’ve been working on,” fits the conversational voice of a small business owner. A corporate approach describes why your product is the best, taking a scientific tone.
Choose your social media tone
Once you’ve set the tone of your brand voice, carry that tone over to your social media updates. At this point, you’ll have already found which platform your ideal client prefers. Even though Twitter and Facebook use different communication methods, follow your brand’s voice. Your social media tone should be consistent with your brand identity.
Some social media post formats include:
Question and answer
A valuable resource for information in your industry
As there’s a wide variety of social media platforms and formats to choose from, a cohesive strategy is a must. Repurpose your content for different platforms. But, ensure your voice, logo, and tone remain consistent to build your brand identity.
Establish your brand’s mission statement
Your brand’s mission statement defines your purpose. A solid statement should answer these questions:
What effect will my business have on others and the world?
What will my business do for others?
What route will I follow to achieve my vision?
What values are important to me?
How is my business unique?
Everything about your brand should reflect your mission statement. Your “why” determines your logo, tagline, voice, message, and personality.
Research your competitors
While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it’s not a good business strategy. Research your competitors in your industry to see where they prosper. More importantly, see where they fail. Take advantage of shortcomings in your competitors’ offerings.
When scoping out your competition, check out these aspects:
Social media presence
Website features and ease of use
How well they communicate with clients
Growth and job openings
Customer reviews are a wealth of knowledge for your business. You’ll learn what they’re looking for in products or services. They’ll also be vocal about flaws in a company’s offerings. Areas you can improve on over your competitors include:
Payment system use
Lack of communication
Sign up for your competitors’ newsletters as well. There’s no better way to get an inside look at a business.
Outline your brand’s benefits
Tell your clients why they should choose you over your competitors. What key benefits, features, products, or services do you offer that no one else does? Focus on the qualities that make your branding unique.
Create your brand logo and tagline
When you think about brand identity, visuals often come to mind first. A logo, colour scheme, font, and image style all tie into your brand. Consistent branding allows for easy identification.
Your client should see your logo and immediately think of your business. Apple has its icon, Nike has its checkmark, I have my ‘feet’ and you have your logo. Your logo will become your identity.
Build a brand message
When creating a brand message, focus on why your product is important to your client. Tell your clients who you are, what you offer, and why they should care. Use one or two sentences, making your brand message simple and clear.
A brand message allows you to form a direct emotional connection with your clients. Gain loyalty based on that connection.
Deciding what you’d like your brand to convey can be a challenge. Choose a brand identity that resonates with you. Your brand identity will draw in your ideal client through emotions conveyed by your message.