Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past few decades or have somehow managed to hold out on joining social media, chances are your feeds are inundated with Insta-celebraties and vloggers promoting their new “favorite” brand or product on a daily basis. In today’s digital world, new brands seem to pop up overnight, and each is vying for your 10-second attention span. How do they do it? What entices us to click that ad or “learn more” button? Branding — it’s all about branding!
Think for a second. What would your brand look like if it had a Tinder profile? Could you make a consumer stop dead in the middle of their feverish left-swipe spree, or would you get swiped into the “meh, maybe next time” category?
A brand isn’t just a recognizable name and logo that distinguishes you or your product in a crowded market; it’s the perception and emotion your customer feels. Like the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” so is branding. You have to be able to catch the consumer’s attention, and make them feel something. If you don’t, they won’t take the time to swipe right.
According to a recent article from Jayson DeMers, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the U.S., and even more mid-to-large size businesses. If you have any hope of your brand standing out among this mass of competition, I suggest you do the following.
- Be original – If you attempt to mimic a competitor’s brand, people won’t have a compelling reason to choose you instead of that other brand.
- Be sincere – Show your human side. Invest in the personality of your brand.
- Be understanding – The best and most popular brands are the ones that understand their target audiences.
- Be bold – The boldest brands aren’t afraid to experiment with new techniques or take a stance on controversial issues within the industry.
- Be consistent – If your brand standards aren’t clearly defined, or you have multiple people executing those standards to varying degrees of effectiveness, you might end up alienating your audience.
- Be visible – Leverage different opportunities to diversify your strategy; for example, you might post content on external publications to build your reputation, launch a social media strategy or invest heavily in advertising and promoted materials.
- Be valuable – Stand out by offering more value than the competition.
Regardless of the industry, market or customer, branding is at the foundation of it all. Be original, be sincere, be understanding, be bold, be consistent, be visible and be valuable — and customers will start swiping right.
P.S. If your brand is truly suffering, it may benefit from a rebrand like this one.