Welcome to Debbie Laskey's commentary about BRANDING, MARKETING, LEADERSHIP, SOCIAL MEDIA, EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT, and CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES. Debbie has worked in high-tech, the Consumer Marketing Department at Disneyland Paris in France, nonprofits, and insurance. Expertise includes strategic planning, brand development, marketing plans and audits, competitive positioning, websites, corporate communications, public relations, employee engagement, customer experiences, and social media marketing.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
How Does Your Brand Stand Out?
Do your customers know what makes your brand stand apart from the rest of your industry, or in other words, what makes your brand stand out in a crowd? Often, marketing experts refer to this as your competitive advantage, competitive positioning, or even a positioning statement.
How often do you remind your customers about your competitive advantage? In order to remain top of mind with both your existing customers, repeat customers, and prospective customers, it’s a good idea to add what I call a "reminder component" to your overall marketing strategy.
Here are five ways your brand can stand out in a crowd:
Explain what your brand stands for. You may have a tagline, but it may not be as easy to remember or embrace as Nike’s “Just Do It,” or Apple’s “Think Different,” or AmericanExpress’ “Don’t Leave Home Without It.” A brand’s mission tells a story and creates an experience. Since it makes a customer into a brand loyal ambassador, don’t lose the opportunity to transform what might be a one-time buyer into a lifelong brand advocate or ambassador.
Provide customer service with every tool possible. In addition to a traditional call center, this may include a Twitter account with “your brand name cares” or “service” in the account name, for example, “XYZCares” or “XYZService” – so that you can react and reply in real time. This may also include a live chat option on your website. But take the time to analyze if a 24/7 online chat option is worthwhile. If you have international customers, the 24/7 component may be important.
If you’re an online or bricks-and-mortar brand, provide free delivery, or at a minimum, offer delivery options so that customers can choose how quickly they want their products to arrive. It’s always a good idea to exceed customer expectations, and as an example, Amazon.com’s products usually arrive ahead of their expected arrival date, which results in satisfied customers.
If you’re a food or restaurant brand, consider the emphasis on healthy ingredients and trends toward organic ingredients. It’s always a good idea to list ingredients and explain where your item was grown. Some products cost more based on their ingredients, so if you charge more, your customers will want to know why.
If you’re a furniture or toy brand, explain where your item was built. Some products cost more based on their materials or weight, so if you charge more, your customers deserve to know why.
Do you have other favorite ways that a brand can stand out? Please chime in.
Image Credit: Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
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