When you're working on building your own website, while you have been surfing the web, documenting what you like and don't like about different sites, do you start to notice anything similar about the sites that you like?
Do they seem cohesive? Is there something about them that makes them stand out in a unique way?
You might not have even picked up on it, but I bet these sites all have very cohesive brands. A brand is simply something that differentiates a business from similar businesses.
"Buy this one, not that."
For example, I can buy leggings on Amazon, or I can buy Under Armour leggings and pay five times as much.
What makes me want to pay five times as much?
With a solid brand, your offering commands top prices. A brand means reliability. You develop relationships with brands. You come to expect certain things from certain brands, and they in turn consistently provide that.
At the heart of a brand is having a good product, and the process of branding is about how you communicate who the brand is so people can come back and buy what you have to offer again and again.
What are your top five favorite brands? Jot them down. Then note how you know the difference between them and a competing product or service.
Now, many of the strongest brands have been around forever, which is how they got to be the strongest. Back in the day, all you had to do to "win" at branding was have the most money so you could advertise. Back when there were very few places to advertise.
Today, you have to stand out to get attention. Great marketing thinker Seth Godin wrote a whole book called The Purple Cow, the premise of which was that when his family was driving on a trip, they would only notice a cow out the window if it was purple.
How does this relate to branding? I'm not saying that you need a purple cow or green monkey as your mascot. What you need to do is think about how you can stand out.
To stand out you need a style that is all your own. And a brand personality to match. How do you get that?
Well it just so happens that I gave my first live free Marketing Gold Masterclass,
Cooking Up a Brand Story:
The 4 Critical Ingredients to Delectable Memorability
And you can view it in my public Facebook group here:
Brands compete on their intangible assets.
Commodities compete on price or convenience
You want to be a brand. To cook up a delectable memorable one, combine the four following elements;
1. History (a past)
2. Culture (a place)
3. Brand Personality (character)
4. Typical Customer (an aspirational self-image)
There should be a reason you started your business. Your brand's history is this reason. Hopefully it's interesting. I'm really hoping it's not just, "I wanted to get rich." Generally, the more authentic and the more you decided to start this business out of a need that you saw that would help people, the better.
It's great if your brand can be connected to a specific culture. For example, if you're selling chocolate, is it Swiss chocolate? German chocolate? Can you connect your business to a culture? That will give it immediate trust and understanding.
Your brand has a past, and it's from someplace. Now, what is its character? Funny? Laid back? Glamorous? Cute like the Geico Gecko? Always thinks about Safety First in true soccer-mom fashion like Toyota?
Lastly, imagine the perfect person who embodies your brand through and through. Not the actual person who is going to purchase your product, but the person THEY WANT TO BE. Their aspirational self. This is your typical customer. When your real customer is using your brand, they feel like this. They might be an inner-city office worker, but they imagine themselves to be outdoorsy courageous types hiking up that mountain in their Patagonia.
Mix all these four elements together and you, my friend, have concocted a memorable and unique brand. And that is worth paying for.
Make sure to add a comment one one of your very own ingredients that sets you apart - I'd love to hear it!