As a branding/marketing specialist, I’m regularly asked to find creative ways to annihilate the competition, or least give them a run for their money. The easiest way to do this is to highlight what is uniquely yours, what makes you irreplaceable. Once you show up as a unique option in the sea of mundane mediocrity, you will be noticed. Not everyone will love that unique part of you, but the goal is not to get everyone to like you and follow you. The goal is the hunt down the consumers, the followers, the fans who will fall in love with your uniqueness and follow you to the ends of the earth. The ones who have been secretly wanting what you have to offer.
I speak with clients all the time that are looking to work on their branding …which usually mans they are looking for a cool, flashy logo. As I begin to explain that they are the brand and that (like my tag line states) it’s about more than just pretty pictures, they begin to grasp the immense possibilities. Their story, their vision, why they are different and how they can make life better is what their audience wants to know. We start there. I start with telling their story.
Whether you are selling real estate, jumping into public speaking, sitting in waiting rooms for your next audition, or getting your new revolutionary gadget into every home in America…the question is simple. What makes you different?
Tom Peter’s article “The Brand Called You” is a great place to start.
You’re every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop. To start thinking like your own favorite brand manager, ask yourself the same question the brand managers at Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop ask themselves: What is it that my product or service does that makes it different? Give yourself the traditional 15-words-or-less contest challenge. Take the time to write down your answer. And then take the time to read it. Several times.
If your answer wouldn’t light up the eyes of a prospective client or command a vote of confidence from a satisfied past client, or — worst of all — if it doesn’t grab you, then you’ve got a big problem. It’s time to give some serious thought and even more serious effort to imagining and developing yourself as a brand.” Tom Peters / FastCompany.com