Article provided by Telkom
In a crowded room, what makes your brand really stand out?
It is not enough to offer a great product or service anymore. Even unique products and services can be copied over time, and it is not sustainable to fight for market share based on price alone. That’s why you need to treat your brand like a living breathing person who thinks, feels, speaks and acts.
How to build an authentic brand?
Brand authenticity is defined as: “The extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves” Dr Paul Marsden.
Building an authentic brand means building a brand with a purpose. Purpose led organisations are able to craft their uniqueness in the market and stand out by telling their unique and purposeful story. Successful businesses are purpose-driven, as customers can tell from a mile away when a brand is not authentic in the message and actions that they put out in the market.
Here are 11 tips to craft a winning brand and stand out from the crowd:
1. Tell a story
Nobody likes being around dull boring people. To be exciting, magnetic and charming you need a story. To tell a great story gives voice to your brand. It gives it a tone and manner. It gives it personality.
2. Be specific
To keep customers engaged, give them something engaging to look forward to. When you tell your brand story, state exactly what your business does. What makes it different from the rest? When you choose something that is specific to your business offering, your customers will start to understand what value you can bring to their lives.
3. Create a compelling story
To grab customer’s attention, your brand must have emotional appeal. People crave an emotional connection, and that’s created through telling a compelling story. The best brand stories are those that are irresistible, provocative and that position the business as a leader in their marketplace.
4. Put it on paper
Give them something to remember you by, write it down. Once you’ve documented your story, circulate it amongst your team to get their buy-in. Once they know the brand story and they identify with it, the next step is for them to live the brand. When the customers see such uniformity, they’ll find your brand to be more than just a business.
5. Develop an emotional connection
Make sure customers are always thinking about you by developing an emotional connection with them. Share stories of what makes your employees so amazing, your success stories or testimonials from customers who love your product. Tell stories that matter, that can inspire, are heart-warming or even humorous so that your customers will feel a deeper engagement with your brand.
6. Build relationships
To stand head and shoulders above the rest, you can’t just focus on your product and what it does. That’s what everybody does. You need to focus on building lasting relationships. Businesses that invest in relationships with customers through an authentic brand find more success in the long-term.
7. Show you have nothing to hide
Win them over by being open. Relationships are built on trust, which means you should be transparent with your customer so that they can trust both your business and your product. Show them you have nothing to hide by making your information about your products and services easy to access.
8. Care genuinely
Make them fall in love with you by caring for them from the heart. People can always tell when you care. When customers make purchases, they want to know their decisions are good for their family and align with personal interests.
9. Inspire brand loyalty by delivering flawless customer service
Win their hearts and minds with great customer service. Customer service can make or break your interaction with your client. That’s why great brands are known to give the same importance to customer service as they do to product development.
10. Knock their socks off
Keep them coming back for more by always being one step ahead of them. There’ll always be customer complaints, what you want to aim towards is engaging with your clients in such a way that even when they’ve experienced a problem, they’ll keep coming back to you because of the way you handled their query. Make it a habit to listen, empathise, apologise and take responsibility.
11. Embrace freemiums and discounts
Customers are not always happy to pay due to the constant sales, free content services and platforms that are easily accessible everywhere. To get customers to set foot and try out your services or even stay, offer something free! It is no secret that customers are over burdened with premiums, payments, fees, taxes etc, that they are fatigued by having to pay more and more. Yes, it is not sustainable to offer your entire product or service for free, however, an element of free is an absolute requirement to the life of your business.
“Lastly, the luckiest among us are always the most prepared.” Tom Bilyeu. Even soldiers going to war have had to do tons of work to prepare and plan their attacking strategy. Plan how you will stand out from the crowd using the above 11 tips, then plan some more and lastly go for the goal.