Great Brands That Compete On Value: Tell Their Story
Even in the diverse landscape of today’s marketplaces, it’s all too common you’ll find them to be saturated with competition. If there’s a product or service people need, you can guarantee there’s more than one provider that can be found locally. Even for something that isn’t a necessity, if there’s demand, there’s competition. So how does one business set itself apart from all of the others? Well, the most concise answer to that is – you guessed it – branding. Effectively, that is.
As defined in BusinessDictionary, branding is “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
Your brand messaging is what motivates, persuades, compels, inspires, encourages, influences – all synonymous with the impetus for one taking action, which is the ultimate goal. All you need to do is give the people you hope to do business with one reason to select you that resonates with them (but the more, the better). In order for that reason to be fully evident to your target audience, though, you must first take action yourself and purposefully define your brand.
There’s a lot of effort that goes into building a great brand. From establishing it in the first place to diligently adding layers of complexity as you go along, it is something that needs to be delivered so it can be digested. If a brand has achieved widespread recognition, a significant amount of time and money has been devoted to the process of building it. It’s been carefully shaped, consciously developed, and there’s a consistent storyline.
Branding is all in the details, and your success in doing so is reliant on authenticity and the ability to tell a captivating story. Each business has one, and it’s unique from all the rest. This uniqueness is precisely what defines a brand.
“Your brand messaging is what motivates, persuades, compels, inspires, encourages, influences – all synonymous with the impetus for one taking action, which is the ultimate goal.”
Every month in Strictly Business you’ll find the Client Spotlight feature, which focuses on local businesses quite literally telling their story. Sometimes it’s an overview of the key points such as history, prominent figures, special achievements, tough challenges overcome, community involvement, a snapshot of what’s happening in that particular business/industry and projections of what’s to come, and so on. Other times it’s specific to a major project completed, milestone reached, or event held. The composition of this piece is such that there is a story told through the deliberate combination of words and images; it attracts attention and keeps it, just like any good story, and there are plenty of good ones to be told right here in our local marketplace.
Consider why we tell stories, something that dates back to the earliest of our human ancestors. We do it to connect and to share our experiences with others. With each story we build upon our knowledge base, which is full of connections that we associate with the world around us, recalling and applying when needed. The good ones draw us in and make a lasting impression, and they also lead us toward making our own conclusions. We interpret them as they apply to us, finding the value in it for ourselves – the takeaway. A great brand strategy utilizes storytelling in the exact same way.
In closing, there is one distinction to make between branding and value. It’s not the brand that makes your business valuable – it’s your reputation and unique characteristics that make you amazing. Your brand is just a way of showing others those things. Sharing your story is a powerful means to that end.