There is a lot of competition out there these days. Whatever line of business you’re in, someone else is most likely doing it too, and (gasp!) maybe even better than you. To stand out and compete in this crowded marketplace, you have to be different. And one of the best ways you can differentiate is to focus on three critical areas of your branding. Read on to learn the three things you need to know to build a more competitive brand.
One of the biggest reason big companies spend so much time on branding is that being intentional about building their brand gives them a competitive edge. Branding shows their customers how they are different from everyone else. It positions their brand in their customer’s minds in a way that allows their business to stand out. It’s not magic. It happens because those companies spend a great deal of time and money working to get it right.
You can get it right too, and you don’t have to spend a great deal of time and money to do it. Here are three things you need to know if you want to build a more competitive brand:
1. Know Yourself
Connect with your passions. One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that you get to decide what you do for work. And when you choose to do something you love, it shows.
Your passion and energy are contagious. When you’re excited about the work you do, your customers will be too. Your excitement alone can be a deciding factor for potential customers. Think about it. Who would you prefer to work with, someone who’s fired up and passionate about the work, or someone who could honestly care less?
If you’re not fired up about your work, you may want to find something else to do.
Make a list of your core values and beliefs. If you know me at all you know I’m a big fan of creating a manifesto for your brand. Your brand manifesto is a public declaration of your core values and beliefs. It shows the world that you stand for something. It’s a way for people to connect with you emotionally.
When you connect with people who believe what you believe, your brand begins to stand out in their minds. They start to see you as the different and better choice.
Have a clear and compelling vision. Do you have a big bold vision for your business? Have you thought about where you’d like to be in the next year? How about the next five years? What are the ultimate goals for your business?
When you have a well-thought-out vision for where you want to be as a brand, and you communicate that to your audience, they will want to help you get there. If you want to build a more competitive brand, get your customers on board with your vision. This is a great way for them to become emotionally invested in you and your brand.
2. Know Your Customer
Know your ideal client. How well do you know your ideal client or customer? Do you understand their struggles and their fears? Have you created your ideal customer profile? This is the first step in gaining a profound understanding of your customer.
When you gain deep insights into your customer, you uncover all the ways you and your products make their lives better.
Know your target market. Once you’ve created your ideal customer profile, it’s time to find more people just like them. What larger groups does your ideal client belong to?
Once you’ve identified your target market, your customers will start to feel like they’re part of a tribe, that they’re “in this together.” That feeling of belonging sets your brand apart in a powerful way.
Create a niche for your business. Your niche is simply a product or service that you’ve created especially for your target market. It sounds counterintuitive, but when you narrow down your offering to a smaller audience, you get to own that niche.
Stop trying to compete in crowded spaces and create a unique niche where you’re the leader and everyone else is trying to keep up.Stop competing in crowded spaces and own a niche where everyone else is trying to keep up Click To Tweet
3. Know Your Market
Know your competition. It may sound obvious, but if you want to build a more competitive brand, you have to know who you’re competing with. Get to know a few of your direct competitors. What are they doing well? What could they be doing better?
You are looking for opportunities to be different. Look for cracks that your brand can fill. The idea is to clearly separate your brand from your competition in the minds of your customers.
Make sure you have good product/market fit. Product/market fit is how well your product or service satisfies market demand. It is one of the cornerstones of all successful brands.
Is there currently a demand for your product or service? If no one wants what you’re offering, all the branding and marketing in the world won’t help you sell more. Arm yourself with information. Search user groups, ask your audience, interview key people, and then create a product or service that’s in high demand.
Create a compelling positioning statement. Your brand positioning statement is a way to distinguish your brand from your competition in the eyes of your customers. Your positioning statement should include your target market, your category, your brand promise, and a unique differentiator.
Here’s an example of a powerful brand positioning statement:
- Target market: Urban moms who like to workout downtown
- Brand Category: Personal trainer
- Brand Promise: I will help make working out every day a no-brainer so you can stay fit.
- Differentiator: I come to you so you can stay home and not worry about finding daycare for your little ones.
Putting it all together: If you’re an urban mom who wants to stay fit but doesn’t want the hassle of finding daycare, I’ll help make working out every day a no-brainer. I come to you so you can work out in the comfort of your own home, be with your kids, and stay fit.
Once you’ve created your positioning statement, make it public. Put it on your website. Add it to your marketing campaigns. The more your customers see how you’re positioning yourself, the more they’ll see how you’re different from your competition.
What am I missing? How do you build a more competitive brand? Drop a comment below and share your thoughts.