• Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

5 strategies to differentiate your brand and own your industry

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Does your brand stand out or is it difficult to differentiate it from others? If your brand falls into the latter category, acquiring and retaining customers will be a challenge. Consumers are drawn to brands that stand out for the right reasons.

There are many ways to differentiate your brand and ultimately own your industry. Here are five ways I’ve seen brands change their approach to gain more market share and increase awareness and visibility:

1. Optimize the user experience

User experience can make or break your business model. A bad user experience can lead customers away from even the best products. Worse yet, it can scare others away as well. After all, when a consumer has a bad user experience, they’re likely to tell the world.

So when it comes to differentiation, improving the user experience should also be high on your to-do list. This is one of the best ways to set yourself apart from your competition, especially if they tend to play it safe.

One of the ways companies differentiated the user experience during the Covid-19 pandemic was to introduce contactless delivery. This has helped them deliver products to customers while reducing the points of contact that can spread the virus. Before everyone started copying the idea, contactless delivery was a great way for quick-witted entrepreneurs to stay afloat and increase sales during a tough time.

Now that the practice is commonplace, how can you use it to differentiate your brand from others? You can highlight your use of eco-friendly packaging, provide free tracking delivery when a premium item is out of stock, or accompany each delivery with a handwritten thank you note. With a little creativity, you will find ways to make your user experience memorable in a good way.

2. Focus on a niche

Many leading countries encompass a range of demographics. Of course, they may have certain aisles or products that meet more specific needs, but they are not focusing their attention on a particular niche. Take Nike, for example. They provide sportswear and sports equipment to people of all ages and abilities, but do not focus their attention on one demographic more than another.

To differentiate your brand, take the opposite approach. By focusing on a niche, you can become the go-to provider of goods and services for a specific demographic. By serving their needs better than general purpose vendors, you can attract a crowd in a way that none of your competition can.

If you’re a sportswear and equipment retailer, don’t try to go up against Nike. Instead, you can provide hydration packs for long distance runners or provide the most durable yoga pants for suburban moms. You’ll differentiate your brand better when you stop trying to be everything to everyone.

3. Challenge the status quo

How can you reverse the expectations set in your industry? Do it successfully and you will be sure to stand out from the oldest brands in the field.

In many ways, Wendy’s is like any other fast food chain. It offers similar menu items and a comparable customer experience. But where Wendy’s turns the story around is with its commitment to using fresh, never frozen meat. The company’s advertising campaigns highlight a questionable side of the industry while showing its attempt to change industry practices for the better.

Now think about how your business can make a difference. Maybe you’ll become the first fast-casual chain with a full gluten-free or vegan menu. Or you can be even more revolutionary by creating the first payday loan company to offer reasonable interest rates. When you challenge the status quo in your industry, you have a good chance of disrupting it.

4. Become an expert

Don’t just be another business trying to find its place in a crowded industry. Establish your brand as an expert. If you can use your experience, story, and content to market yourself as the go-to source for industry knowledge, you’ll have a much easier time standing out from the crowd.

Content in particular is how you will be able to establish yourself as a industry expert. Take advantage of blog posts and social media to share valuable information with your customers, without always attaching a sales pitch to them.

Let’s say you are in the banking industry. Using your industry expertise, you can develop a blog that offers free financial advice to anyone. This information will establish your organization as a reliable organization in the field and attract new customers to your doors.

5. Give your marketing a creative spark

Much of the advertising is the same. Auto ads all inhabit the same mountain vistas, and social media posts all use the same photos and filters. If you really want to differentiate yourself, you won’t be using the cut and paste strategy that so many other brands use.

Consider some of the brands that have succeeded through creativity. Old Spice has come back to life with ads so wacky you can’t help but quote them to your friends. Geico’s adorable green lizard has been the animal spokesperson for the brand for years, and it helps differentiate the insurance company from its many competitors.

Take the time to think about how you can add flavor to your marketing and branding. Maybe you need an irresistible mascot to sell your products or a jingle for a radio or TV commercial that will stay etched in consumers’ heads. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

You want your brand to stand out as a unique flower, not a sore thumb. When you differentiate your brand for the right reasons, you’ll see pageviews skyrocket, your sales soar, and your brand awareness soar to new heights.

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