What are you reading this blog article on? An HP laptop? An iPhone? A Microsoft tablet?*
*Note: This is not intentional product placement. Do not feel pressured to purchase any of the above.
How did you react when you read those devices? A satisfying, Yes, that’s me, or No, ew! My brand of ______ is…
Sometimes, that ellipse goes on and on when it comes to describing our own brand. Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business. An effective brand strategy even more so. Your logo may be well designed, but if neither you nor your customers know what it represents, it could be disastrous. Assert your brand with these three tips.
- In English, there are five W’s. In branding, there are three.
Who are you? What do you do? And most importantly, why do you do it? Let’s take baby steps.
Who: You’re a human being who started something new. Congratulations! Are you friendly? Are you innovative? Are you one, or two, or several people? Tell everyone, because they want to know.
Be personal. If you’re a family business, say so. If you care about the environment, say so. Think about what you strive for. You’re the only one capable of doing things your way.
What: What do you do? Start with basics. Do you have a product or a service – or both? Remember, this is what you sell the most of, so you want to keep selling it. What solutions does your product or service provide? What’s it made of? Can it enhance the lives of your customers?
Why: Finally, why should people care? Chances are, you have several competitors who offer the same thing. What sets your company apart? Do you strive to make this product more affordable? Is it a better quality than what the others offer? Is it recyclable?
Finding an answer to the why can be difficult. It’s what you stand for, what you’re passionate about. Obviously, you want to make money, but why did you start your company?
- The magic formula.
Branding (B) is equal to the power of your three W’s (w3) combined with your uniqueness (u), not how different (d) you are. Don’t do something wildly different just to stand out. Be logical, personal, and creative. Make it yours.
Compare and contrast. What’s the difference between McDonald’s and Burger King? And consequently, you and your competitor? You might offer the same things, but what are your options? Are they healthier, quicker, cheaper?
This could be something as simple as your packaging or the craft in the product. It could be eco-friendly or have a nice ring to it. “Happy Meal,” for example.
Once you find the ultimate B, stick to it! Be loyal to your B – an inconsistent brand does not a good B make.
- What’s in it for the rest of us?
What do you do for others?
Do you reward your customers? Do you let them review and rate you, and do you follow up with them? You can display a feed of them using your product, or testimonials. People like being featured and included. Reposting their content will make them feel good, and adds a layer of interactivity.
Customers aren’t the only ones you can reward. How’s your philanthropy? What issues do you care about and want to let others know about? Are there benefits to using your product or service that no one else offers? Of course there are. Own it. No one can do this like you can.
Hannah Alkadi is a digital marketing intern at Catapult Creative Media. She studies advertising and visual communications at LSU, and spends her free time informing others about micronations.
Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc.
Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving south Louisiana and headquartered in Baton Rouge. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.