We live in a world full of brands competing for attention. From small companies all the way through to massive enterprises, we’re talking literally millions of businesses in the United States. In fact, there are over 28 million small businesses in the US alone. And that’s not counting mid to larger-size enterprises at all. With so much competition, it seems like it should be impossible to make your brand stand out. But it isn’t if you’re smart about it.
The key is to build a strong brand identity and market yourself accordingly. Knowing what your brand stands for, what it means to your target market, and how it speaks to the world will make it easy for you to stand out from your rival businesses. But what exactly does brand identity refer to?
A brand identity or, more simply put, branding, is the embodiment of your business. It covers the way you present yourself to your target market and how you communicate and engage with them. Establishing your brand identity will help build rapport with your audience and build trust in your industry.
Now that you know more about what branding is, let’s look at how you can go about it in a way that will create a stir and set you apart from the competition:
1. Look For The Freemium Angle
Freemium products are a great way to give your customers something for free that will help to generate leads and build brand awareness. For example, a photo editing app that leaves a watermark on anything exported on a free plan. Customers can edit their photos for free and share them with the world, and your logo gets shared along with that photo. If a user wants to remove your logo, they need to pay for the full version of the app.
If you can find a freemium angle for your business, you’ll be providing a great service or product for your customers that also promotes your brand. Remember, it doesn’t have to be something directly related to what you sell, it can be something that works adjacent to your core business.
2. Put Special Emphasis On Your Packaging
Whether you sell a product or a service, your packaging is important. The way you present your offering should always stand out, and your branding plays a major role in this. Packaging doesn’t just have to mean physical boxes. It can also refer to your website and sales process if you’re selling as a service online.
It can be little things like fun messages on the inside of the lid of the product box or personalized notes on your invoices after completing a service. These things should all be considered and designed to delight your customers.
That attention to detail will get your customers to talk about your brand and give you valuable word-of-mouth advertising. It’s all about creating an experience that speaks to your target market by showing them you understand what makes them smile.
3. Play With Technology And Get Interactive
Technology is not something that should be shied away from, even if your brand has a retro or old-school vibe to it. Getting as interactive as possible is the way of the future, especially with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) becoming commonplace technology. Customers enjoy being able to engage with a brand on different platforms.
One example is to build a mobile app game that gives customers the chance to win special deals or free products. It’s great advertising that gives customers an incentive to engage and download the app.
When you adapt to changing technologies quickly in your digital marketing and other spheres, you gain a reputation for being courageous and at the forefront of the way the world is moving. This can be extremely valuable for building trust in a tech-savvy customer base.
4. Rebrand When Things Get Stale
A stale brand is a forgettable brand. Yes, rebranding is not always a cheap process and it can cause confusion with your customers if you don’t get the marketing around it right. However, the impact you can make with a powerful rebrand can be well worth the effort and the money.
When working on a rebrand, think about every touchpoint with your customers. This includes your website, social media profiles, business cards, the merchandise you sell, your premises, and the uniforms your staff wear. You’ll need to update the online platforms you use timeously, always have the right ink for printing business cards and other in-house marketing material, and have packaging on hand that reflects your updated identity. You cannot mix old and new and expect people to view your brand identity as consistent.
The idea of a rebrand is to give your business a new lease on life without alienating your existing customers. You could even build a reputation for rebranding. It shows you like to be trendy and keep up with the fashion of the day.
5. Go For A Little Controversy
Taking a risk is something that can lead to high rewards for any brand. You just need to be aware that the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad press” is not always true. If a risky stance or marketing tactic backfires, you could need to make some serious reparations to get your brand back into good standings. This is why it’s important to take calculated risks.
A brand that takes a stand on a controversial issue will polarize its audience but could gain some very loyal followers. Before you step out onto that ledge, though, be sure to read the room properly and get the tone of your potentially controversial stance right. When you take risks and offer up an opinion, your brand will never get thought of as boring.
Go For The Unexpected To Stand Out
Your brand identity is one of the most important elements that you can put in place for your business. Without a strong brand identity, you’ll never make an impact, nor will you stand out.
This is why it’s critical to think outside the box with branding campaigns. Boring, been there done that and the same as everyone else won’t get you noticed. With these ideas, you can make your business one to remember for all the right reasons.