Branding is one of the most vital parts of growing a business. It’s how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. It’s how you stand out from the crowd, and it’s what your customers feel when they think of you. It’s the promise you make to your customers, and your business’s success depends on how well you fulfill that promise.
Your brand is the exact blueprint of how you will represent yourself to your customers. It’s the manual that tells you and anyone in your company who and what your company is not only from a design standpoint but also, who your customers are, what their wants and needs are, what the voice and tone of your marketing efforts and communication will look like.
Branding is the upstream driver of everything that comes underneath a business’s marketing campaign. It drives culture, tells customers what to expect, and ultimately drives a business to succeed or fail.
We’ve all seen brands change and grow throughout the years. Logo changes, changes in marketing messages, new angles and approaches to delivering a product or service — a brand’s changes evolve and mold to fit different changes in the market. Most brands who’ve stood the test of time use these three ways to differentiate themselves and stand above their competitors.
1. Sell emotions
If you look at great brands, you’ll see trends emerge. A mentor I once sought for advice used to say, “success leaves clues,” and while there is a lot left unseen when you look at large corporations… There are many traceable and tangible variables that can be monitored and valuable information to be gleaned from them. First and foremost is that most brands sell emotions.
Coca-Cola sells happiness. So does McDonald’s. Visa sells the feeling of freedom. Toyota sells freedom, reliability, adventure. Many large brands sell you a feeling and deliver it through service or product. They deliver it through an experience.
Understand what emotions your customers are craving, and you will win your branding efforts. Oftentimes, a business’s marketing campaigns focus too much on delivery mechanisms and not the state the customer will be in once they receive the product or service.
Most customers don’t actually want the specific item, service, or product they purchase. They actually want more safety, security, happiness… or less pain, less stress, less time or effort output, and more results. Most customers’ wants and needs are simple. While attempting to stand out, entrepreneurs tend to overcomplicate things and think that because their mechanisms of delivery for their products are so different from their competitors that their customers care as much about it as they do.