Every business wants more customers who buy more stuff; so where are the customers and why aren’t they buying from you? Today’s B-to-C customer and B-to-B client have options; whatever you’re selling can be purchased from someone else, and if they can’t buy the exact same thing, numerous substitutes are available.
And if you’re selling someone else’s branded product, the problem is worse.
Competition Is International
Despite Google’s efforts to promote local search as the answer, the fact is, for most businesses, competition is international. Sure, if you’ve got a local cupcake shop, international competition isn’t a factor, but for most companies a click of the mouse opens up the competition to every international competitor from Shanghai to Mumbai.
Build A Brand
The solution is simple: build a brand; however, the implementation of the solution is daunting and that’s the heart of the problem. Branding is one of those areas of discussion that can lead to a lot of confusion. It’s not that all the information you gather is wrong; it’s just that most starts at the wrong end of the problem. Talk of social media, logo and Web design, and even video are important, but unless you understand how they effect the establishment of a brand, the results will be disappointing.
If you follow our newsletter or have purchased our e-books you know the importance of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, so I won’t repeat it here again. Once you’ve established the Maslowian Need that forms the basis of your brand identity, you need to understand the psychological process required to get your message across, and to establish your brand as the singular source for what you sell. All major brands have nominal competition, but the ability to associate a psychological benefit to a brand gives that brand a significant edge.
Four Key Elements Needed To Define Your Brand
There are four aspects to keep in mind when you’re implementing your brand strategy: motivation, education, absorption, and integration.
Your marketing needs to create visceral experiences that motivate your audience to learn more about your brand. Once they’ve invested themselves in learning what you’re all about, they need to absorb that experience which comes from repeated consistent delivery of the same underlying message based on the psychological need you’ve identified as your core brand value. After repeated focused experiences, your brand will become integrated into the audience’s subconscious and become part of their internal preference bias, or what branding experts call owning a position in the market’s mind.
Stay On Message
The real challenge is to stay on message. The pressure to play it safe, to do what everybody else is doing, and to follow the latest trend is enticing, but those are the things that are standing in the way of doing what needs to be done.
A Brand Says You’re Different
Below is an ad we created as collateral for a video campaign we produced for Workplace Modifications, a supplier of ergonomic chairs and workstations.
The Video Campaign
All It Takes Is A Little Imagination
The theme of the videos was simple: if your back hurts it’s probably because of the chair, but as a tagline it needed to differentiate the brand and distinguish it from the competition, that for the most part approached the problem from a disengaged humorless point-of-view. So instead if stating the obvious in a dry forgettable statement of fact, we turned it into something just a little bit cheeky that hit home with people who suffer from poor ergonomic workplaces, by saying, “If your back is a pain in the ass, it’s probably because of the chair.” It’s only a slight change but it makes the difference between being remembered or forgotten.
Do You Suffer From A Lack of Web-Appeal?
Because most ergonomic suppliers present a dry humorless presentation in order to convey a sense of seriousness, we decided to take the opposite approach (See “What’s The Big Idea?). Stating the obvious in a matter-of-fact academic manner has no “Web-Appeal” and leaves no lasting impression. Our approach was tongue-in-cheek both in the videos and in the display ad collateral. After all, if your audience doesn’t remember who you are, what you do, and why they should care, you’ve failed.