Act like an Anglerfish and stand out from the crowd
The Anglerfish inhabits the deepest and darkest parts of the ocean bed. It’s so dark that everything is invisible. Consequently there is no point in the Anglerfish trying to chase its food because it can’t see it. Moreover, its prey swims a lot faster than it can. Instead, the Anglerfish has developed a unique strategy to lure its prey. The Anglerfish stands out by dangling an elongated dorsal spine, the tip of which is covered in a light-producing organs called a photophore.
“Interesting, but what does an Anglerfish have to do with branding?” Well, to be successful in business you need to stand out in the marketplace. Otherwise it’s like being an Anglerfish with it’s light out, no one will see you. When you are indistinguishable from your background, that is your competitors, your customers are forced to choose their products and services based on price. There will always be someone able to out do you on just price!
Your brand tells your audience where you position yourself in your niche. It represents the idea behind the creation of your company, it tells your audience what you stand for and what you offer. Your brand is how you represent yourself to the people you want to target and society at large. For some types of fish, hiding in a school and NOT standing out is a good thing – it increases your chances of survival. However for small and local businesses, if you are just like everyone else, you will have to compete for customers based on price. The key to survival in business is being visible, rememberable , and uniquely attractive to your customers.
Your Target Audience Wants to Know Like and Trust You Before Becoming Your customer and your friends
Branding is like your business clothes. Your clothes tell people who you are and what you represent.
For example if you choose to look like this you are making one sort of statement.
Looking like this makes a completely different one.
Whilst making assumptions based on stereotypes might be unfair, people make instant judgements about you based on your clothes. In business it is the same, people make instant judgements based on your brand. Branding yourself is a way of telling your audience who you are. If they like what they see, then they will become your consumers and your friends. Effective branding is when you communicate with your consumers and respond to their needs. Branding is like telling a story of your company. Your brand message should be consistent, repetitive, clear, and meaningful. Your brand message isn’t only the content of your advertising, your logo or strap line.
Your brand message is the summation of everything about you and your company. Therefore your colours, sounds, smells, images, personal appearance, how your staff look and act, they way you deliver your services, etc all have to be consistent. The perception you wish to create and the impression you wish to leave in the minds of your stakeholders have to be in harmony with your branding. Otherwise you end up sending mixed messages that are confusing to your audience. When people are confused they seek clarity else where – they buy from the brands whose message they connect with.
Your brand identity should be based on your strengths and the real personality of you and your company. When you are congruent with your brand it is easier to maintain a consistent message.
How To Make Sure Your Brand Stands Out
1. Making your brand stand out is a combination of heart and head. The heart is ensuring that it authentic and reflects who you are and what you stand for. The head is making sure that it incorporates the following:
- Uniqueness: Your brand should to look and feel unique. Your content and graphics need to differentiate your brand from the competitors.
- Memorable: Repetition is the key to being memorable – remember learning your times tables by rote. Your brand message, by being consistent, repetitive, clear, and meaningful will stick in your audiences’ mind.
- Honesty: Branding is not about telling your audience what they want to hear, but it is about living up to your promises. Whatever you tell them, you need to make sure you can live up to it.
- Personality: Personality is an extra characteristic you add to your brand to make it more human. This creates a sense of familiarity and trust building.
- Professionalism: Not only does your brand have to appear professional, your staff need to be presented in a way that gains credibility and respects from your audience.
- Relatable: The language that you use needs to be suitable for your audience. It should be their vernacular. If the language of your message does not match the expectations of your audience they will quickly switch off because they will think: “this isn’t meant for me”.
2. Act in a different way to your competitors. The most businesses are oblivious to the fact that customers want to hear what businesses can do to solve their problems and that they understand their problems aspirations issues and needs. Customers are not initially interested in you or how great your businesses. Only once they are convinced that you understand them will they be open to hearing what you think and your solution to their problem. Focusing on your audience when your competitors are focusing on themselves will make your brand stand out.
3. Tell your brands story. What you do and how you do it will be unique to you and will give your brand substance.
4. Customer service is a very big part of your brand. Set yourself apart by providing excellent customer service. Immediately put things right if they go wrong.
5. Be a HUG-able brand and HUG your customers. Hear Understand and Give back incredible value. There was a lot of wisdom in the idea that the customer is always right. Listen to what your audiences have to say and then act on it so that they can see that their opinions matter to you.
Does your brand standout? Now that you know the factors that makes your brand standout add these to your branding strategies and see how it works!