What Makes A Brand Stand Out?

Make sure your brand has, and demonstrates, these seven important qualities:

1. Originality

First, your brand needs to be original. If you attempt to mimic a competitor’s brand, people won’t have a compelling reason to choose you instead of that other brand. If your messaging relies on clichés and sales talk, it’s not going to resonate with any of your customers. Instead, find an angle that nobody has taken before, and develop an image and voice that are wholly your own. This is easier said than done, of course, but it’s a necessary step if you don’t want to blend in with the competition.

2. Sincerity

Next, your brand needs to demonstrate a degree of sincerity. If you respond to all your customers on social media with the same copied and pasted corporate response, people are going to see you as a soulless machine that cares only about turning a profit. Instead, show your human side. Invest in the “personality” of your brand, and speak to customers the way you would speak to a friend. You might make some mistakes along the way, but your customers will be able to forge much better relationships with you in the long run.

3. Understanding

The best and most popular brands are the ones that understand their target audiences. They demonstrate this by creating messaging that is relevant for only one target niche; for example, if you’re targeting parents, you might mention a common parenting problem, like having difficulty with a morning routine. This will demonstrate a degree of sympathy and instantly make it easier for that audience to connect with you. In time, this will lead to increased interactions with your brand, which in turn will lead to more traffic and conversions. Make sure you research your target demographics thoroughly and on an ongoing basis, and adjust your wording and targeting as needed.

4. Boldness

In branding, risk often leads to reward. The boldest brands aren’t afraid to experiment with new techniques, or take a stance on controversial issues within the industry. They’re somewhat polarizing, which means they could alienate a portion of their audience, but they also encourage more loyalty and respect from the people who stick around, and they never run the risk of being seen as “boring” or “just another brand.”

5. Consistency

It’s easy to blend in as white noise if your messaging isn’t consistent. If your brand standards aren’t clearly defined, or you have multiple people executing those standards to varying degrees of effectiveness, you might end up alienating your audience. The goal is to get your followers and readers to stick around as long as possible; but to do that, you need to give them a sense of familiarity and predictability. The best way to secure those qualities is to lock down your brand standards early on, and ensure that all team members working on your campaigns are skilled at their execution.

6. Visibility

Obviously, if people aren’t seeing your brand, they won’t be able to respond to it in any way. Though some potential customers will undoubtedly trickle in through organic searches and other inbound routes, the only way to build your reputation from scratch is to make your brand as visible as possible.

Leverage different opportunities to diversify your strategy; for example, you might post content on external publications to build your reputation, launch a social media strategy or invest heavily in advertising and promoted materials. The bottom line is that you need some medium to promote your messaging — otherwise, it won’t matter how appealing that messaging is. For help getting visibility for your brand, see How to Get Media Exposure for Your Startup: The Ultimate, Step-by-Step Guide.

7. Value

Brands can also stand out by offering more value than their competitors; that can be done in a number of different ways. First, you could simply offer better products and services; if you offer a similarly valuable product for half the price, it will be only a matter of time before people start flocking to you.

Unfortunately, most brands don’t have the flexibility to get this competitive (without eating into profits). Instead, you might offer value in terms of better, more informative content, or a stronger dedication to personalized customer service. Originality plays a role here, too, so think carefully about how best to appeal to your customers.

If you’re just starting to build a brand, these factors should guide you in its development. If you have a brand already, and it seems lacking, consider implementing a rebranding campaign, or at least adjusting your execution of your brand standards to reflect these values. At the very least, take the time to audit your current brand strategy and evaluate your adherence to the standards you originally set.


Why Is It So Hard To Market To Millennials ?

1. They’re Not Your FansMillennials do not see themselves as fans. They see themselves as active participants, able to shape opinions and inform the conversation. Their parents were fans. They are players and see themselves as owners of the things they choose to engage with.

2. They Get Marketing

They grew up with it. They’re savvy, smart and know a lot of the old marketing tricks. And they don’t like it. They’re attuned to it and weary of it. You must respect their intelligence.

3. Experiences Make Them Rich

Millennials are in a financial bind. They’re in debt (in 2016, the average college student graduates with $37.2k in debt), they can’t afford houses and are staring down the barrel of some pretty epic changes to the workplace, namely automation. Saving for a big house doesn’t make sense. Spending $800 on a primo festival experience does.

4. Knowledge Is Everything

Knowledge is a potent form of currency for millennials. They don’t just want to know about the product or service, but where and how it is sourced, the corporate practices, how staff are treated and the personal character of the leaders. When all those elements align, they are on board.

5. Big is Bad

The big institutions have let them down. Over their lifetime they’ve watched big brands, leaders and industries collapse due to a range of immoralities. When it comes to learning about new things and recommendations, they put their trust in each other and micro-influencers. Big isn’t to be trusted.

6. Chat Is King

This is the primary means of communication. It is not a compromised option devoid of meaning. It’s the benchmark. Millennials expect brands to be available 24/7 and chat is their preferred mode of interaction. Keep an eye out for video messaging through platforms like Snap and Kombie. It’s on the rise, and will likely eclipse text messaging in the future.

7. Growth is Good

They have diverse and changing interests and are looking to grow on a personal level. Collaborations between their favorite brands and other brands, artists or influencers gives them access to events, ideas and information that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.

8. Entertainment Is Expected, Everywhere

This is a generation that never learned to be bored. Things move quickly and they like it. Even a 15-second ad is too long. Brands can no longer sponsor the entertainment, they have to be the entertainment.

9. They’re Ruthless

If you let them down, they’ll move onto the next thing. They’re used to being consumers in control and understand that they can vote with their dollars. You only get one chance with them. If you do mess up, a public apology and active attempt to atone for your wrongdoings is far better than sweeping it under the carpet.

10. Irony Reigns

The more offbeat and oddball, the better. Done right, humor is a way to show millennials that you get them and respect their intelligence. Though there is lots to be depressed about in the world today, millennials are inherently optimistic and humor is the weapon of choice for making strong political points and cultural statements. It’s a common language between friends, and when brands get it right, its effect is magnetic.