No matter what industry you’re in, I can almost guarantee that you’re running a business in an oversaturated market. This is particularly true for online businesses who aren’t bound by geographical location because it means your competition– and thus, your customers– aren’t either.
The secret to standing out in these hyper-competitive markets isn’t to run yourself into the ground by cutting into your margins and offering the lowest price out there; this can backfire quickly and put you out of business altogether. Instead, it’s to create a distinct name and niche for yourself that people will remember and want to share with their friends and family.
This all comes down to effective branding. Many businesses have a concept in mind that they want to go for, but struggle to actually implement it correctly, so in this post we’re going to take a look at a few easy ways to define your company’s brand in a way that your audience will be able to identify and respond to.
What Is a Brand?
Your business is an individual entity that sells goods or services. This is separate from a brand, which says more about “who” your business is than “what it is,” so to speak. The brand is a combination of the image of your business that you project to the world and how its perceived by others.
Publix is one of the best grocery stores in the Southeast. That’s the business part. It’s brand, however, is being customer-first, with the best goods and a friendly face to help you find what you need to nurture your family. They make sure that their employees are smiling and making small talk with customers, and all of their advertisements are focused on these core themes.
Aldi is another grocery store, but they’re known for their bargains. You have to pay $0.25 to borrow a cart (though you get it back at the end), and though they have good deals on good quality organic food, the sometimes-dismal-looking-stores can drive people to their sister company, Trader Joe’s, which has many similar products and is also known for deals but has more “artisanal” products and a friendlier approach.
And then you’ve got Whole Foods, who can probably get away with charging $10 for a bundle of organic kale, because their brand is quality over quantity, and they got into that niche when it wasn’t a popular one yet.
Your brand, as you can see, is going to tie in closely with how you want to serve your audience and your unique selling proposition. It’s more than just about what you say, and it’s all about what you do, but there are a few key things you can do to make sure you’re establishing your brand from the get-go. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Make It Clear in the Copy
When people come to your site, you should go all-in on the branding quickly, particularly in the copy.
Think about your unique selling proposition and how you want users to think of your brand. Do you want to be scientifically-oriented like TempurPedic mattresses, focusing on how it was developed by NASA engineers?
Or do you want to go for the customer-testimonial and social proof approach like Serta, knowing that customer reviews can help sell up front?
Consider how you want to sell your products and services, and how people will think of you. Make sure you carry this to every part of your copywriting, all the way from your product descriptions to your email and PPC campaigns. This will help you create a more distinct, definitive, and seamless brand.
2. Consider Your Visual Impact
When people come to your site, they’ll take notice of everything on it, including the colors, logo designs, and the overall look that you’re going for. Even things like font can make an impact.
Let’s look at an example comparing two different cosmetics companies with very different visual branding.
Colourpop is using youthful touches, like the stars, the term “BFF,” and even the font. It’s fun and casual, with bright, vibrant colors. This is extremely distinctive branding.
Wander beauty, on the other hand, is still using feminine colors, but they’re going for a more geometric and “adult” logo and font, along with a simpler, cleaner background that will appeal to a more “premium” and often a little older audience. It’s a sophisticated look.
The products could be exactly the same, but the visual appeal of these two different sites will speak to drastically different audiences.
3. Use Video Marketing
Video marketing is a great move for brands, because they can pack an insanely powerful branding punch. They’re dynamic, and you can use them to better tell full stories that your audience resonates with, adding touches of emotion and even music to drive your point home and define your brand.
There’s a lot of room for how different brands can tell their story in video marketing, and it’s all about the emotional impact you’re going for, the vibe you’re shooting for, and what use cases and stories you focus on.
Here are a few examples of how different brands use video marketing to sell their protein shakes:
4. Bring Branding Into Your Interaction With Your Customers
Customer perception is essential when it comes to defining your brand, because those who are able to brand themselves at every touch point will make a more lasting impression and give themselves more control over the narrative.
Adore Me, for example, has an upbeat, feminine voice navigation system when you call the phone line, greeting all callers with a “Hello, Adorable!” This works to establish a community and build loyalty, which ties in with their VIP subscription program.
Casper sells mattresses, but happily jokes with their customers in the comments section on their posts and ads. It makes them seem accessible and customer-oriented.
Building a brand can be tricky, and it’s something that takes a lot of intentional effort over a long period of time. You can’t just say “we’re a customer-friendly brand” and let that be enough; you also have to back this up through your messaging and your business’s actions. Remember that your brand isn’t just what you say it is, but what others perceive you to be.
Need a little extra help defining your brand? We can help! Get in touch to learn more here.