We are all looking to stand out in the crowd. I’m not saying anything new here, it’s simply the truth. Whether it’s about your brand or your personal brand, nobody wants to be lost and forgotten. We want our brands to be seen as different, unique, special. But…how do we do that, when there are is SO much competition out there? There are SO many people doing exactly the same thing we are?
Here are 10 tips to DIFFERENTIATE your brand:
1. BE UNIQUE: Yes, there are many brands out there. Many people doing the exact same thing you are. BUT there is ONLY one you, and absolutely nobody can be better at that than you! So focus on telling a story that defines you and makes you unique from the rest. The story might be about the founder like the case of #GirlBoss Sophia Amoruso and her Nasty Gal brand or around a secret such as the formula for Coca Cola. Just make it your own.
2. CREATE AN EXPERIENCE: The more you can engage your audience, the more successful you will be in making your brand stand out. This is the reason that Starbucks is Starbucks. It’s all about the experience of drinking coffee there. From the ambiance, to the packaging, to the flavors and music. It’s all part of a unique experience.
3. BE THE EXPERT: When you are an expert, you are seen as the most credible source out there. The most reliable source that people go to. So, whatever field your brand is in, focus on your area of expertise and build your reputation around it. Doing this will enable you to be laser-focused on your message that enables your brand to be top of mind.
4. ELEVATE YOUR PRICES: It’s no lie that when we see something that is more expensive, we tend to think it must be the best option. There’s a strong psychological pull working behind this strategy. Elevating your prices builds a perception around the quality you offer. When you offer something incredible, it’s an excellent way to differentiate your brand.
5. SHARED VALUES: When you leverage on the values your brand AND audience stand for, it’s an opportunity to build a special bond with your target market that differentiates your brand from all other. This is something that Whole Foods does beautifully.
6. FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS: This is probably one of the most important ways to differentiate your brand. Focus on the solutions you’re bringing into people’s lives. No matter how complex or simple, when you focus on the value you create, it makes it about THEM and that makes all the difference.
7. BE EMOTIONAL: Tapping into the power of the emotions behind your audience are a great way to differentiate your brand. Honest Company does this skillfully while focusing a bit on fear of what you could be using for your baby that’s NOT healthy if you don’t use their products. Brilliant.
8. FOCUS ON DESIGN AND LOOK + FEEL: You can never underestimate the power of a beautiful designed brand in the mind of a consumer. It’s why you see brands like Target being so successful. They have made alliances with designers that have taken their brand to a whole new level. We’re visual beings, and what looks good MUST be the better option for us. Design is fundamental to differentiation.
9. BUILD A COMMUNITY: In the end, it’s all about feeling we belong, that we can connect to others. When you are able to build a community around your brand, you will definitely be able to stand out from the rest. It’s what Apple has done so successfully over the years. One of the ways they did this? White earbuds. Just seeing people with them makes you know instantly they have an Apple device, and you can relate in a second. Betcha didn’t know that.
10. GIVE MORE VALUE: This is something I always mention. Think of ways that you can give more value that can make you different from everyone else. It could be in details as simple as sending thank you emails or as complex as adding a bonus feature on your course. Just think of ways in which you can give more that will make you different from everyone else.
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