How to Make Your Brand Stand out
The beauty of this digital freedom of ours comes with its own predicaments – it doesn’t matter if you’re a one-(wo)man operation or you run a hundred-strong company, competition is both fierce and numerous. In fact, in US alone, approximately 99% of all businesses are small, and a staggering 40+ million are actually independent workers, or as we like to call ourselves, solopreneurs. That simply means that you might be going alone, but you are far from alone in the business universe.
That fact makes it all the more important for you to truly find that elusive “edge”, that special something that will draw hundreds of people towards your brand and inspire them to stay loyal.
We all enjoy diversity when it comes to content but branding by definition means that you need to develop an identity that is recognisable across all channels of presentation. That means that every single detail, down to the font, colour palette, and tone of voice matters in the creative process. You may feel that being the only one to represent your brand gives it enough consistency, but it actually takes time to build that skill.
You can start by creating your own brand book, with all of these details outlined. You never know, maybe you partner up with someone from your niche, or you simply need to check if all of your online and offline imagery and language are consistent for your audience to recognise.
But not predictable
On the other hand, don’t let all of that consistency-chasing become an excuse to lag with creativity. In fact, if you do your best to surprise your audience, you’ll keep them engaged with novelty and quality. Perhaps a contest to win a guest post to your blog, or a useful e-book you’ve written, or maybe a collaboration with some of your favourite experts.
It might not work brilliantly every time but collecting impressions from your readers will help you determine which directions work best for them, and what they enjoy the most about your brand. Leave your content comfort zone and dare create something that will further establish your brand’s reputation in their hearts and minds. Just look at how traditional brands such as Oreo dive into the digital interactive possibilities to build stronger customer relationships with the help of VR.
In addition to defining that authentic brand identity of yours and sticking to consistent presentation, the online noise is the perfect place to look for support, both from your like-minded experts and your audience. Even the most renowned names including Adidas know the value of enabling user-generated content. That is why when they inspired their followers to think of their own product design, they followed through by actually making them real.
So, learn from the best, both solopreneurs and massive companies. Ask your readers what they’d like to read about, if you can invite them to share their own thoughts and work together with the many social media influencers who share your beliefs.
Collaboration with other renowned brands from the niche is also a good way to approach new consumers. Even famous fashion brands such as Junya Watanabe do it. Its collaboration with The North Face & Karrimor this year is a great example of famous brands working together on fashion collections.
Do some good
If you have a charity that is close to your heart, or you donate a portion of your profits to an organisation that resonates with your values, why not share it with your audience? It’s simple enough to include it in your storytelling strategy, and it will not just help you establish a more meaningful connection with your audience. It will also allow you to invite more people to join the cause and make a difference in your community.
If you’re happy to connect offline as well, you can set up a charitable event or organize something in your neighborhood, such as a blood drive or an educational session for the disadvantaged youth. Whatever it may be, you can definitely do some good while at the same time making that trait a part of your brand story.
Ask your audience
Despite all your knowledge and experience in your field of work, you have by now probably realised that being a solopreneur has a never-ending learning curve. And that’s a great thing! It lets you keep a flexible mindset when it comes to refining your brand approach, and what’s more, your constantly growing connection with your audience is a perfect source of feedback that can fuel your next strategy.
It’s not just about them being the makers of the brand along your side, but it’s about making changes in your presentation and improving your brand performance through actual, actionable advice. And who better to give you that advice than those for whom your content is created? Make it worth their while through free samples, coupons, vouchers, you name it, and you’ll soon see those comments pouring in!
About The Author
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