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So you want to learn how to brand your business so you can stand out from your competitors?
In a recent blog post, I talked about how you could brand your business on a budget. We dove into choosing a color palette suitable for your brand, your buyer persona, a logo and a website, and since I love branding so much, I figured “hey, let’s continue the conversation”. If you haven’t checked out my post on how to brand your business on a budget, you’ll definitely want to check it out (plus, it’s also a Podcast so you can listen to it as well).
But today, let’s go a bit more in-depth on how you can really brand your business and your brand stand out from your competitors.
Because there could potentially be hundreds of people and other businesses competing for your customers’ attention, and if you can’t figure out how to stand out, you’re going to be forgotten!
And anyone can have a color palette and a nice logo, so now let’s dive deeper in how you are going to brand your business from your competition. Branding your business or yourself (if you’re a one woman/man show) isn’t hard to do if you know some key steps. And if you’re really serious about branding your business, check out my e-book: Brand & Style.
Now, let’s discuss how you can brand your business (so it stands out from your competitors).
Develop A Brand Voice
Your brand voice is how you speak to your customers through social media and other channels of communication. When you brand your business, discovering an appropriate brand voice is important in order to connect with your customers on a deeper level.
Take the quiz to discover what your brand voice is!
Brand Your Business With A Story
Creating a great brand starts with a story. I’ll let you in on something – I already know what the best thing about your story is. And before you even craft your story, you’ve already got an advantage.
The best thing about your story, is that it’s unique and completely different than anybody else’s.
In order to brand your business effectively, you need to convey that awesome story, however, is a lot harder, because while you may think it’s great, you’ll want to convince your customers and potential customers that it is great.
Your story should evoke some type of emotion and you’ll need to find a way to tell it so that people will WANT to get to know you more.
Now, when you’ve got your story laid out, what exactly do you do with it? Well for me, I like to keep it on hand and sprinkle pieces of it in my brand.
A part of my story is how I live in Canada for 4 months of the year and Europe for the other 8 months. I’ve got that right in my Instagram bio and have it mentioned on my homepage and my about page.
I always try to incorporate my story here and there, which brings me to my next point.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
Have you heard of the Rule of 7? The Marketing Rule of 7 states that a prospect needs to see or hear your advertisements a minimum of 7 times before they will take some form of action. The number 7 isn’t set in stone, but it is important to remember that people will need to see you over and over to remember you. We, as consumers, are constantly bombarded with product placements and advertisements. If you want to be remembered, be repetitive.
Repetition is very important when trying to make your brand stand out from the competition. Repetition can be something such as showing your ads to the same subset several times, or something more subtle like keeping a consistent theme among your Instagram images.
Let me tell you a story about one of my first Facebook campaigns. I was very excited because I had planned this entire campaign out – I had researched my market, nailed my copy, had some professional images done up and invested my entire month’s advertising budget towards this one ad.
I knew I was putting all my eggs in one basket, but I also felt incredibly confident that I would generate a ton of new leads with this campaign.
I launched the campaign and after a week knew something wasn’t right.
My leads were coming in slower than molasses. People weren’t clicking on the ad, and if they were, they weren’t entering their email address.
I sat down and thought about what could possibly be wrong. I had two ads up, in order to A/B test the two of them and could see they were both doing poorly. I made tweaks here and there, but nothing was working. Finally, I cut the campaign short because I figured out what my problem was.
I was targeting a cold audience! These people had never seen my business or my brand before, and suddenly my ads were showing up in their very personal Facebook page feed, and I was asking them for their email address.
Nobody knew who I was and because of this, my campaign failed miserably (but was still a great lesson to be learned).
Give Your Brand A Personality
Everyone is too careful – because nobody wants to accidentally offend someone and overstep any boundaries. So rather than interject too much personality into their brands, people just want to play it safe and hide behind our businesses to avoid showing who we are.
And nothing is wrong with playing it safe and being respectful, but find something that makes your brand unique and shout it from the rooftops, because if you aren’t going to do it your competitors will and you will see them reap the rewards.
You are just as incredible as your business is, so don’t feel the need to hide behind it. People love to see a personal touch to your brand!
Be Real And Honest
I’m a sucker for a beautiful photo but I also know what went into crafting that exquisite image. That’s because I’m also behind the scenes and am creating images that go onto Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and my website.
But your customer’s don’t always know what’s real and what’s not, so instead of posting photo after photo that are carefully crafted, try to make sure you remain real and authentic to your followers and customers. The word authentic is so overused but so important to remember.
If you brand your business based upon authenticity, your customers will be able to see that which will create some serious loyalty.
All touchpoints of your business’s brand should be cohesive. This means that the fonts you choose, color palette and other imagery should always be consistent. If you are serious about managing your own brand from top to bottom, you should teach yourself graphic design (at least learn the basics) so you are able to create professional-looking graphics on your own.
If you use Pinterest often, you may also want to consider creating your own Pin It button that matches your brand.
Focus On The Experience
Businesses that are properly branded (and who outshine their competition) don’t just deliver a product, they deliver an experience for their customers that just happens to come with a product or service at the end.
An experience doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, but you need to have a well-thought-out plan of action to put into place the moment a customer visits your website, sends an email, or takes any form of action in regards to your brand.
Show that you are able to get the results and let them know why you are the best choice for their needs. Including testimonials on your website is a great way to start that brand experience before a potential customer even reaches out to you, because it gives them a look into someone else’s experience and allows them to imagine how their experience working with you will go.
Find Your Niche
Niche it down, folks! I know the temptation to sell to everyone in the world can be there (and wouldn’t it just be easier to make a product that everyone loved so that you could appeal to more people?). But believe me, it’s better to be selling to a small niche market than to be trying to appeal to everyone and their cats.
Think about it this way, if you were had a choice of going to one store and your choices were:
- a tshirt store that sells one size fits all shirts in one color
- a tshirt store that sells shirts that are custom fit and can be ordered in any color
Which store will you most likely go in? You’d probably go into the store where you could find something that is tailored specifically for you. The same goes for your products, your message and your brand.
This post is a part of my Brand & Style E-book. Get exclusive access!
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