How not to be Generic and Create a Truly Unique Brand
Brands are everywhere.
Where once branding was largely the domain of the large product based business or even fast food outlets, branding as a concept has now crept into service based businesses of all shapes and sizes as the competition for attention in a crowded online and offline marketplace is intense.
When you’re in the B2B sphere, competing for clients against bigger organisations, differentiating yourself becomes even more crucial.
Without any differentiation, there’s no clear reason why your clients should choose you over your competitors and you can really struggle to get your voice heard over the racket of similar businesses competing for a limited number of clients. This is not good for business growth or even survival and it’s a problem I have seen many of my clients struggle with over recent years.
The outlook for generic ‘look and feel the same as everyone else’ brands is not looking good, a prediction backed up by a recent report from research and consulting firm Beaton Global. Using the example of professional services businesses, Beaton Global highlights the need for organisations to really differentiate themselves and not to rely on the same bland slogans their competitors are all using.
I think the same can be applied to businesses in just about any B2B arena. I see many great businesses put time and effort into creating a brand only to disappear among all the other websites and businesses using the same generic brand values.
How to tap into the true uniqueness of your brand
I strongly believe that every business has something unique to offer but finding out what it is, and thinking about what you do that is unique from your customers perspective, may take some soul searching and a bit of digging. If you are presenting your brand based on generic values like “reliability,” “expertise,” or “customer focus” you are likely to disappear among everyone else. What you need to do is to think about what you really stand for and what values you want to base your brand on that are truly important to you.
To create a strong, genuine brand your marketing materials and your brand values need to be in line with your core philosophies and values. If your brand message isn’t based on personal, emotional values this will be very difficult to manage convincingly.
Create a brand promise that’s relevant and means something to your clients
Your brand promise is tied in with your point of differentiation and if you’re going to attract new business and keep your existing clients whatever you are promising has to be something that’s important to them. Think about what they really want and find a way to give it to them, in a unique way that fits in with your brand values.
It’s essential that you fulfil any promises you make to your clients. However great your brand promise sounds, if you don’t deliver on the basics your clients are going to feel let down and your reputation will be affected.
Experience is key to creating a strong brand
Many of the businesses I see focus on words when it come to branding, but if you really want to create a solid, consistent brand that your clients will trust, you need to make your brand an experience. This means mapping out the different points where your clients and potential clients come into contact with you and ensuring that you deliver on your brand values and promise at every turn.
The B2B environment is evolving and differentiating yourself is all-important if you’re going to compete effectively. By taking your branding seriously, finding a truly unique way to differentiate yourself and implementing a consistent brand strategy you can help engage your clients, boost your reputation and grow your business.