Distinguish Your Brand

Greetings Destiny Friends,

Beauty lies in the eyes in the beholder is a popular saying, which has proved to be true because if you ask ten blind men to describe an elephant, they’ll describe the elephant based on the way they feel it. One of the beauty-aspects of life is its originality. In this contemporary age where digital communication has gone global, no one likes a fake product, a fake friend, a fake person, etc; everyone likes it when you’re the best version of yourself. Though some schools of thought might relish in the aphorism, “fake it until you make it”, If truth be told, there’s nothing sweeter than when success is organic, especially when people identify with you for what you truly represent. When you’re fake, it goes to prove you’re not worthy and confident of yourself. But when you’re the original version of yourself, it makes your life much more simple, easy and accessible. Let me share an insightful business tip with you; when you’re fake, you’ll only attract fake people around you thereby driving your potential helpers away from you, but when you’re the original version of yourself, you give fake people the opportunity to run away and the original people the opportunity to come closer.- Food for thought.

In one of the chapters of my first published book Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success, titled: Understanding Your Uniqueness, a striking statement therein is a quote from Oscar Wilde “Be yourself, everyone is taken”.  This affirms the saying, you can lie to others but you can never lie to yourself. The question now becomes, how do you distinguish not only yourself but your brand? During the course of this article, we shall be focusing on how we can make not only yourself unique, but also our brands, business, and lifestyle in general. We shall conclude with advice on how to stay relevant in business.

A brand must uniquely solve a particular problem and it must recognize the target audience it hopes to serve. Brand differentiation can be a corporate brand, product brand, or even a personal brand.

In order to truly know yourself and what people think about you and your product, ask them what do think about you and your product? Depending on the response you receive, you can evaluate and reconcile it with who you truly are and what your brand represents. Let’s take the case of Coca- Cola, for instance, it has been in existence for one hundred and twenty years and therefore needs no introduction nor marketing. The interesting thing about Coca-Cola is that no one knows the composition/ ingredients. That goes to tell you they have distinguished themselves.

Let share practical examples of how you can distinguish yourself, your brand/product.

Position Yourself

Location is very important in business. Being at the right place and time is very critical for the success of your business. Your ability to know what is needed and lacking in any region can influence your brand recognition. Regardless of where you are in the world, figure out where your customers, services or skills will be relevant and find a way to get there. This helps to give your customers more opportunities to be involved in the decision-making process. It also provides customers the benefits of distinctiveness and variety, enabling them to choose the experience that is most meaningful to them.

Cultivate Stronger Relationships:

It is widely believed that you are addressed the way you dress and your network determines your net worth. If you have great clientele base and build a solid relationship, you stand a better chance of getting business opportunities due to the referral you’ll get.

Consistency

One of the most important keys to distinguishing yourself is consistency; over the course of months, will people begin to recognize and appreciate your brand for what it is. Craft your brand identity carefully, and stick to it once you’ve found a way to distinguish yourself.

 Be informed

Information is power. Make it a duty to inform your customers about new developments in the industry. You can do this by way of newsletter, flyers, text messages or social media engagement. In that your customers will know you are not interested in their money, but you also care about them.

Tell A Story

People like stories that relate to them or why you do what you do. Your story may also be about the source of your product, service or inspiration and it can also relate to you.

Every successful brand has a compelling story behind it.

Great Customer Service

Customers love great customer. Exceeding expectations can differentiate your brand. For example, little words like thank you, gifts, can I help you find something?  Constant checking on your customers and informing them of new products helps them to see you a reputable brand due to how you have positioned not only yourself, your employees but your business in general. Make people feel value: You can appeal to people’s emotions by delivering an emotional experience that’s associated with your product or service. Great customer service and pricing are very influential factors for customer service. When you deliver a world customer service, your customers stay happier and stick around longer.

The quality of a company’s customer support and service directly impacts the overall customer experience. Take care of your employees by treating them right and they will, in turn, treat your company/business well.

Give Back

Modern customers like a bonus, points, gift cards, and other incentives. Most people love to get behind a brand that gives back to the community. By emphasizing corporate social responsibility (CSR), you can differentiate your brand and get an edge over the competition

Provide Higher Quality

When you are recognized as a brand that specializes in giving quality products, a distinct class of people will be familiar with your business. E.g. Rolex watches are unique. Luxury brands are able to command premium pricing through an emphasis on higher-quality Toyota and Honda cars are regarded as durable cars while Bentley is regarded as a luxury car.

Finding a true strategy

Having a unique strategy is very important in succeeding in business. Coming up with a great strategy may be the single most difficult step in building a business. But it may also be the most important. Here are a few possible strategy variables to consider: High quality versus low price, narrow versus broad product line, high-tech versus low-tech product, trendy versus conservative products, brand name versus generic, customized versus standard, niche market versus mainstream market

Solve a real problem for customers

Once you identify those unsolved problems, you can take a few different approaches to solve them. However, once you come up with a plan of attack, validate it with your customers before implementing it.

Brand Ambassadors

Brand advocates are people who love your brand so much they promote it to friends, family, or colleagues. They are also commonly referred to as “brand ambassadors”. When they become convinced of the value you offer the market, they start promoting. They do this on their own, without any request from your company. This constitutes a great form of free advertising for your business. And it’s the best type of advertising.

Become an expert

If you paint yourself as an expert in your space, customers and prospects will look to you for advice. They will look for your content when they have a problem that needs to be solved. They will search your website for other resources that will help them.

Focus on social listening Skills

Consumers use social media to gather new information about a brand than ever before. They also use social media to blast negative comments across the airwaves when they have a poor experience. Consumers using social media have more power than ever to dictate the direction and future of a company. If you disappoint customers, many will quickly take to social media to share their negative experiences with the world. And it is done in a public forum, which can kill your brand reputation.

When someone posts a comment—whether positive or negative—you need to respond as quickly as possible -be engaging.

In conclusion, how does your brand differentiate from the competition? Is your packaging distinctive or stand-out in some way? How could you change that? What does your brand do to differentiate your customer service? Are there new audiences you can reach through differentiation?

What would it take to reposition as a luxury brand and differentiate through added value?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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