How To Build A Brand With Staying Power

October 08, 2018 | By Scott Snyder

If you’re in business, times are changing, most products today can be bought from just about anybody and your competition is only one search away.

How are you going to differentiate yourself? 

How are you going to compete?

In this post, you will learn how to develop a brand strategy that sets you apart from the competition.

I'll be covering the following topics.

  • What is a brand
  • How to differentiate your brand from the competition
  • How to develop a value proposition
  • How to implement your brand strategy
  • How to measure your brand experience
  • and much more...
Let's get started!

What is your brand?

The term “brand” gets tossed around a lot by marketers, but the definition is pretty simple.

Your brand is a promise to your customers.

According to Lee Frederiksen of Hinge Marketing, a brand promise must achieve the following three goals:

  • It must convey a compelling benefit
  • It must be authentic & credible
  • It must be kept, every time

Let's take a look at one of the most famous brand promises.

Geico:

“15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” ...

What makes Geico's Brand Promise Great?

It offers a benefit, it's authentic, and it's measurable. Making your brand promise measurable gives you and your customers a way to validate that your keeping your promise.

So when looking at your brand, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your customers know what your brand promise is?
  • Are you delivering on that brand promise?
  • Would your customers agree?

The Brand Experience

Marketing is all about the experience you deliver to your customers with each and every interaction.

The more personalized the experience, the faster you will be able to build brand loyalty.

In fact, the experience you build becomes your brand in your customers’ minds.

The Customer Experience

In order to build a successful brand you need to implement a system that enforces your brand promise, and tracks how well you’re sticking to it throughout the entire life that a customer does business with you.

This lifecycle is called the Customer Experience and it’s the new battleground where customers will be won or lost.

That’s why you need to map out the entire customer experience for your business so you can ensure that the promise you make to your target market will be carried out on a consistent basis.

The Customer Experience Lifecycle

The customer experience lifecycle starts way before a transaction is made. It starts as soon as a potential customer becomes aware that you exist.

The first interaction, the awareness stage drives the customer toward the consideration and then to the decision stage ( these 3 stages make up the buyer journey), and eventually to a post-purchase process (customer journey).

Together these 2 journeys make up the Customer Experience Lifecycle.

Ultimately you can think of the lifecycle as three stages that can be broken down into smaller steps that are unique to your business.

  1. Before Purchases
  2. During Purchase
  3. After Purchase

Touchpoints

Touchpoints are all the interactions your customer experiences with your brand before, during, or after they purchase something from your organization.

They can occur in any number of places (in-person or digitally), these places are the channels that people use to interact with your brand.

Digital Channel examples:
  • Mobile web
  • Live chat
  • Email
  • Social-networking pages

Touchpoints are important because customers form perceptions of your organization and brand based on their cumulative experiences.

Today’s most savvy organizations know that they can enhance relationships with customers by improving touchpoints across their entire organization. 

This process is called, Touchpoint Management and in order for it to be effective you need an infrastructure to support a multi-channel (omni-channel) approach to marketing.

Omni-Channel Experience

Omnichannel (also spelled omni-channel) is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.

The consumer has become accustomed to the standards set by the largest and most innovative brands and expect a comparable experience with all merchants, even those companies that have just been launched.

Develop Your Value Proposition

A unique value proposition is a clear statement that describes the benefit of your offer, how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition.

It should answer these questions:

  • Who is your target customer for this product or service?
  • What product or service is your company selling?
  • What is the end-benefit of using it?
  • Why your customer should buy from you instead of the competition?

How do you differentiate your brand from the competition?

It starts with having a deep understanding of your customer.

If you drill down into the needs of your customer you’ll recognize that:

“People are not looking for products, services or technology, they are looking for solutions to their problems.”

It’s your job to construct your unique value proposition to reflect this deep understanding of your customer.

At this point you may be thinking, “Yeah, I know what my customer wants.”

Stop right there.

A survey by MEC labs of 275 businesses found that only 2% could succinctly describe a strong UVP for themselves.

Ready for this, on a scale of one to five, 86% scored a two or lower for their propositions.

Don’t let this be you!

So many entrepreneurs skip their value proposition, then get confused when they fail to connect with their customers.

Skipping this step can be the difference between a successful brand and one that struggles.

Develop A Deep Understanding Of Your Customer

How do you develop a deep understanding of your customer?

It might sound simple, but it’s often overlooked by most small businesses.

You need to perform customer research.

To get started, identify a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside your database that you can survey and interview. 

So where do you keep all this valuable data and insights?  Look no further than your buyer personas.

Buyer Personas

A Buyer Persona (also known as an Avatar) is a tool that puts you in the shoes of your ideal customer so you can fully understand them and develop and develop products and services based on their needs. 

Building a persona is going to help give you clarity on how to develop and content and marketing strategy.

How to implement a strong brand strategy

Think of your personal brand as your blueprint for success.

First things first: you need to identify what is unique about you. 

Determine what it is that makes you stand out from the competition. 

It is imperative that you are able to figure out your brand’s current position and identify your closest competitors. Doing this can give you that competitive edge that will make your brand shine.

Knowing how your competitors brand themselves will also place you in the position to compare, and through comparison, discover a distinct and value-based position. 

Once you do this and create your brand statement, as mentioned above with Geico, you can begin to further what’s really important: your purpose.

This purpose can be viewed in two different lights, the functional the focuses on the instant commercial rationale and the intentional which focuses on the worldly impact.

Scott Snyder is the Founder & CEO of Sellution. He is dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes gain access to the technology they need in order to grow.
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