Let’s talk differentiation.
Branding is more than just having a product or service and marketing it to an audience, it’s about your values, what you stand for and why people would want to align themselves with you. After all how a person feels and is seen with your brand is really important.
With the rise of social media, we’ve seen the evolution of great storytelling.
As Simon Sinek says “it’s not what you say it’s how you say it”. Construct a good story and your audience will listen. It’s all about creating good content that people will want to engage with and inevitably trust. Have a read of one of my other blogs ‘Why it’s important to tell your brand story here‘.
And there I said it, the magic word; trust.
Building engagement is one thing, having your audience trust you is another. This is where the relationship building process is crucial to your brand. Social media gives us the ability to communicate with people in real time, to have conversations and ask questions. It’s because of this that the way we market today is different to how it was done even 5 years ago. There’s more to know, more to tell, and people want to hear it.
Which winds me back to the headline; differentiation.
What makes you different and why should I care? Sounds brutal right? Well, that’s basically the answer to all of your problems. It’s all good and well to have a great product or service, but what makes you different from old mate down the road? He’s cheaper too. The answer? Your point of difference.
The point of difference
This is your sole reason for starting your business.
- What do you do differently?
- Why are you passionate about what you do?
- What drives you?
- What makes you excel?
- What could you talk about for hours on end?
That passion is what helps drive your success. To give you an example, I started my business with the sole purpose to give. I love to succeed, but what’s the fun in that if other people can’t come along for the ride. Watching my clients succeed is a personal reflection on my business and how we both addressed, managed and solved a problem. What will always drive me is my passion to provide meaningful, quality communication that has a purpose.
So, ask yourself, what made you start? What’s your story? Communicate it.
Don’t be a sheep. Don’t play it safe. How you market yourself will be your maker or breaker. What’s the point of providing a great product or service if no-one is going to bloody hear about it? Tell me this, you’re walking down a nice street and you see 2 cafes, the first café is like a milk bar. Nothing special, mirrors surrounding the space reflecting the deep fryers behind the counter, with a few white tables and silver chairs. Bright white lights and a gentle hum of the refrigerator at the back of the shop. The other has rustic wooden paneling, a fancy coffee machine with a ‘specialty coffee’ sign on the counter. There’s an awesome hand-drawn mural on the back wall (like a chalkboard). They have wooden tables and black steel chairs. They also have low lit lighting to create ambiance.
What one would you pick? I’m gonna take a punt and say 2. Remember, it’s how you make people experience your brand too and THAT is branding and marketing at play.
- It is every single touch point of your business.
- How you speak and respond to people.
- How you look and how you appeal to people.
Find your point of difference, not someone else’s. Find what makes you stand out and work with it because no one can do what you do. They may be able to offer the same product or service, but what it comes down to is the whole experience. It’s why some cafes offer a biscuit with your coffee, hell that’s better than not getting a biscuit right? Even if you don’t eat biscuits, the sentiment is there all the same, and in that moment, you felt special. From that first interaction to the last encounter, make sure you make it memorable.
What you do differently, and why you do it, is your differentiation. Never follow someone else’s lead, because it may be a dead end. If you keep coming up with innovative and fresh ideas, your direction will be clear. As Apple says “Think Different”.