How to Brand and Differentiate

August 4, 2019

Scott Bedbury, former executive at Starbucks and Nike said, “a brand is a story always being told.”

Your brand is your story. It is more than colors and a great logo, although it includes these elements. Your brand is a consistent and recognizable way of communicating and expressing yourself to your customers. It differentiates who you are or what you offer from your competitors.

According to a Nielsen survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that are familiar to them. Think Nike, or Coca-Cola, or Budweiser. As soon as you see the Clydesdale horses, you know it’s Budweiser. These brands connect with their consumers, telling a consistent story that is woven into everything they do. Through this consistency, you build brand awareness, trust and credibility.

Your brand must be incorporated into all the spheres in which you operate, including:
  • Your website and blog
  • Social media channels
  • Online advertising
  • Email marketing materials
  • Print Ads
  • Sales & customer service portals
  • Packaging, signage and printed materials

  • How to Brand and Differentiate

    To create a brand for your business, you first need to know who you are. What is your purpose, vision, mission and goals? Why did you pursue this profession, or develop this product or open this business? Your brand is your unique identity, your calling card.
    Next, who is Your Target Audience?

    Identifying your audience is key. You cannot appeal to everyone. Get specific about the interests and lifestyle of your targeted consumers so that your brand messages resonate with them.

    How are you Different?
    You’re competing in a crowded field. You must differentiate yourself from the competition to survive.
  • What do you do that no one else does?
  • In what ways is your service or product different and better than what the competition offers?
  • Why should a consumer choose you rather than a competitor?
  • To answer these questions, you first need to know what your competitors are doing. Do some opposition research. What has worked for them? What were their failures? Identify their weaknesses and use it to differentiate your brand from the pack.

    Your Brand Logo and Tagline

    Your logo and colors should reflect your personality. It’s a visual representation of your vision and mission. Your logo should be unique and immediately recognizable by your consumers. This is an important step and it helps to use professionals who can integrate your personality into a logo design that will resonate with your target audience and differentiate you from the competition.

    Digital and Print Content

    Your digital and print content is an important vehicle for delivering your brand message, as well as differentiating you from the competition. Your vision, mission and goals should be consistent throughout all content released into the public sphere. Utilize content to build trust and familiarity and to address the issues and concerns of your target audience.

    Your Voice

    Your brand is also your voice, your way of expressing yourself, how you communicate with customers, media, and industry peers. It should reflect your values and mission and connect emotionally with your consumers. Keep your brand voice simple, easily recognizable and consistent across all platforms, including in your website text, all online content, even your voicemail.

    Monitoring

    Once you’ve developed your brand, you need to assess its performance. Listen to what are people saying about you. How are consumers interacting with your brand? Are they sharing it? Is your brand resulting in customers?

    Once you’ve created your brand, stick with it. Unless there is a serious problem, don’t change it. Consistency is the key to your success as a brand.
    Your success in the business world depends on the strength of your brand. Professionals will help you develop all the elements of a successful brand and differentiation strategy, that will be consistent across all platforms and channels.
    / Share This
    / Author

    Paul Vesely

    Paul is a strategic communications expert with over a decade of experience leading complex and high-impact digital campaigns for multinational corporations, high-profile entrepreneurs, political parties and business leaders.