No matter what industry you are in, there will always be another brand selling the same (or similar) product or service as you. In 2019, a study done by 99 Firms found that there were over 31.7 million small businesses in the US alone. And that’s not even including the larger companies. All this to say, no matter how unique you may think your business is, you’re going to have some competition, which is why making your brand stand out is so important.
Being successful means having to stand out, both with your competitors and your audience. So how do you do that in a world that is overly saturated? Here are eight ways that you can make a build brand differentiation and stand out.
How To Build Your Brand
Before you worry about making your business stand out, you need to know the basics of building your brand. There are three aspects that are important, all of which we touch on in the following strategies. The three to pay attention to are
- Brand Strategy – This maps out how you are different from any other company in your industry. It covers your purpose, mission statement, promises to your audience, and how you plan to solve their problems.
- Brand Identity – Brand identity is all about visuals. This includes your logo, color palette, fonts, website design, advertising, etc.
- Brand Marketing – There are so many different aspects of brand marketing. The most important (and most common) ones are email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, paid advertising, and user experience.
Why Branding Is Important
Branding is the most important aspect of your business for multiple reasons. It’s how your audience perceives you, which can make or break whether or not they become loyal customers. It also determines your recognition. Take Apple, for example. They’ve made their name in the tech industry, and there’s a reason that everyone sees the half-eaten apple and automatically recognizes the brand.
How To Make Your Brand Stand Out
1. Know Your Audience
The most crucial step to standing out (and succeeding as a business as a whole) is knowing your audience. You can’t make a strong marketing strategy if you don’t have a deep understanding of what your audience is looking for. When in the early stages, ask yourself these questions.
- Who are they? How old are they? Where are they located?
- How do they spend their time?
- What do they do for work?
- Who do they follow? (i.e., brands, influencers, etc.)
- What are their biggest problems? How can you solve these problems?
Related: How to Develop Deeper Relationships With Your Customers
2. Research Your Competition
Knowing what your competition is doing will always benefit you. It helps you understand what product or services they are offering, their pricing models, and what is and is not working for them. From there, you can formulate a plan based on this information.
Is there something that is you notice that they are not doing that you can? Is there a hole in their marketing strategy? What are their strengths, and how can you make them work for your business as well?
3. Be Innovative
This ties in with the idea of researching your competition. After doing extensive research, you’ll be able to spot the gaps within your industry and fill them. It’s no surprise that coming up with new ideas is a surefire way to stand out. Even the smallest details can help you rise above the competition.
4. Tell Your Story
As humans, we have a natural instinct to connect with other humans. Customers are more likely to purchase from a business they know, trust, and relate to. Your personality makes your brand unique. Show it off with social media posts, Instagram stories, branded content, your email responses, a strong “about me” section on your site, etc.
All too often, brands fall into the trap of solely trying to push their products or services, which can come off extremely disingenuous. Remember that people want to connect with people, not products.
5. Have A Strong Visual Brand
Social media marketing is an absolute must for any company or brand. It allows you to connect with millions of people from all over the world. One of the easiest ways to build a following and create a well-known brand is to have a strong visual identity.
Before you begin your journey into social media marketing, consider hiring a social media marketer or a branding coach that can help you draw up a vision board complete with color schemes, fonts, logos, etc. This will ensure that you have cohesive branding throughout your feed, which will create a memorable experience for the user.
Look at these two feeds as an example:
Related: Why Social Media Marketing Is So Important In 2021
6. Offer High-Quality Products Or Services
This may sound like a silly one to mention since it’s common sense, but it’s one of the most important aspects to owning a business and, most importantly, succeeding. While some businesses may have been able to skate by in the past by offering mediocre products or services, that won’t cut it if you’re looking to stand out.
Whether this means splurging on the softer shirt to print on or performing quality checks on every single item before they go out, paying attention to small details like this won’t go unnoticed by your audience.
7. Remember That Customer Service Is Key
If a customer feels that they are not getting the service they deserve, they will look elsewhere. As a business owner, your customers are your lifeline and should be treated as such. Ensure that they feel like they are being helped when they need it and supported along the way. A few ways to ensure that you deliver strong customer service skills, be sure to:
- Be friendly
- Respond promptly
- Actively listen
- Acknowledge their feelings
- Ask for feedback
- Say thank you
8. Start A Blog
Content marketing is quickly taking the world by storm, and for a good reason. In fact, 80% of consumers visit some type of blog or social media site every day. It helps them understand what your business is about, what they can expect from you, and it demonstrates your expertise in an area.
If you are a business that holds events or giveaways, this is another great way to advertise them. Plus, it allows you to get opinions and feedback from your audience. But the best part? You can take advantage of the SEO it offers. The more carefully curated content you put out, the higher your domain authority and the higher you’ll rank.
Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging For Your Small Business
Final Thoughts On Making Your Brand Stand Out
If you don’t have a game plan, standing out from your competition will not come easily. Luckily, with passion, implemented strategies, and strong customer service skills, you’ll find success. Be true to who you are and your mission statement and use these tips, and you’ll be recognized in even the busiest market.