How to create a unique brand identity

Unique brand identity creation is a process of offering unique values and business creativity.  Most of the companies that appear today have nothing special about them. As a result, such business fails, sooner or later. However, if your offer is unique, you will not need to spend a lot on advertisement – even with little investment your efforts will result in large stream of customers.

So how to brand a company? Everything which somehow is different from the crowd, no doubt, will drive attention and will make your campaign stand out from others. Business succeeds only if you offer some kind of values to your customers. It means that your offers should be somehow unique and unusual. In this case you will be sure that buzz about your company will quickly spread – a buzz that doesn’t require money, the only payment for it will be uniqueness of your offer.

The biggest asset of any company is its customers – they help your business grow and develop. Have you tried to cross the edge of your niche and offer to your clients something more that your competitors do? Have you ever tried to sell the product or service that people really would like to have? If no, then you brand lacks unique identity, and thus you will be faced with fierce competition.  Note, that customer can’t help but buy your product if it contains something unique.

Why should we create unique brand identity?

Just several years ago there were less goods offered than we can observe today. People have more time and fewer goods available. People were capable to control their spending, because demand and supply were approximately on the same level. Now supply considerably surpasses demand, which causes demand decrease and makes choice more difficult.

Even genuinely innovative product appeared on the market (for example, mobile phone or computer), then we bought it. Right now, when there is excessive quantity of  “innovative” products, the range of choice has become wider while opportunities have decreased.  Under current circumstances there are people who would probably buy your product, but they just don’t know it exists, because it has been lost among other similar offers.

So how to create valuable product? Because if something you do is helpful for other people, then you create some kind of values which your customers are happy to use. Imagine, that you are a person who promotes something unique on the market. No let’s think about benefits you will receive, in case your offer is unique. Most likely, you will become a monopolist in this niche. And even if other company starts producing the same product, it will still fall behind, because you are the first who took the initiative and thus will remain number one. This rule works in any branch.

If to take the case with Internet, then let’s look at Twitter or any other social network. All their clones are desperate in their attempts to become better than ancestor. They will end up with closing or being taken over by larger market player. Every day we hear the news that Google, Twitter or Facebook has bought another startup along with development team. Lots of startups are initially created to be acquired by larger company. The best brands are those which create and sell unique goods, however, it is not the single criteria to judge about the brand success. Here are a few more:

  • Customer service. Best brands continuously perfect all stages of production, sales and service. After-sale service is no less important.
  • Product quality. If one category of companies intensify the production speed day by day, without paying attention to each produced item quality, other more successful brands run investigations and tests before launching a product on the market.
  • Targeting, not planning. When for some companies sales plan with constant increase is on the first place, for other companies, which ultimately win, target is not about sales volume, but about level of quality.

In essence, creative branding is some kind of art, which is based on deep market investigation and knowledge about the niche you are going to target. Smart entrepreneurs, before appearing on the market, conduct a thorough analysis in order to identify target audience and their needs to make sure a new product appeals to them and created a positive emotional feedback.

The Interbrand agency run an investigation where found out that only 20% of products that appear on the market find the audience, while the remaining 80% become obsolete in three years. The following question arise: what is the reason that so few brands manage to get on their feet? What mistakes do CEOs who manage these 80% of companies make?

  • Lack of market knowledge. A businessman should clearly understand the market and be able to analyze it. The problem is that tasks, goals and solutions are continuously changing, and many fresh entrepreneurs are lost in all these business nuances.    
  • Lack of audience knowledge. Who is expected to buy your products? A seemingly simple question baffles many businessmen. Selling the product to anybody is not effective. That is why it is wrong to create a product without knowing who will buy it.
  • Too narrow niche. In order to avoid fierce competition with big brands, many companies focus on so narrow niche that launched products meet no demand.
  • Derivative niche. A lot of companies offer solutions which are already implemented by larger brands. They simply copy the ideas without improving them and adding something news. Then how is it possible to compete with more powerful brands?

Customers – what are they like?

We all are some businesses’ target audience and customers. Having opened a magazine or newspaper we immediately dive into milliards of ads. Those who watch television are influenced by commercials the most, since there is too much of advertising there and this source is difficult to control comparing with other media platforms. Radio, banner ads, public transport – all these are a huge place to market the product.

On every corner somebody tries to sell you something, hand over the leaflet or even call you offering to buy their product.  The existence of sales plans makes people too obsessive, which results in customers’ negative attitude towards brand. Next time if the customer sees a banner advertising such brand, he will think twice before buying something. Or even worse – will write a letter of complaint.

There are 5 categories of clients:

  • Potential buyers – those who are interested in purchasing your product or ordering your service the most.
  • Visitors – people, who repeatedly visit your store, but for some financial or personal reasons don’t eager to buy your product.
  • Occasional visitors – those, who may have come to your store just to keep a friend’s company, or something in your store has interested them – not necessarily the goods.
  • Customers – the most active audience, which purchases from you again and again.
  • Fans – people, who spread the buzz about you, who works for your benefit.

One of the most important questions any CEO has at the start of the business is defining precisely the future group of consumers. Many entrepreneurs make mistake by widening the audience rather than segmenting it.

The target audience can be segmented by narrow and specific characteristics. In segmentation you can use:

  • Psychographic criterion includes stylistic and psychological portrait. This could concern preferred style in clothes, social status and personal traits.
  • Demographic criterion is responsible for aspects connected with person’s age, his education and income level.
  • Geographical criterion helps divide the group into region and country of residence.
  • Behavioral factor similarly to psychographic concerns person’s psychology, in particular: the attitude towards the product, the way it is used, as well as what benefit will the consumer get if he buys this product.

Criteria mentioned above are typical and segmentation degree will depend on your business type. Quite natural that people buy and will buy only those things which they need. Over the last years the demand for innovative products is rising. Remember when tablets appeared, this product became popular among huge amount of people in no time, now almost everybody has a tablet.

So modern consumers are seriously influenced by fashion, which appears and gradually vanishes. Think about netbooks, when tablets showed up, demand for netbooks dramatically fell.  People wanted something different, more compact, a device, which would substitute standard notebook or desktop computer. People try to minimize everything that is possible to minimize including workflow.

Our desires and needs are two different sides. If our desires come from our phycology, the needs we have are connected with finding the solution for some problem. Our desires may change during the single day for many times, while needs are constant until we cope with it. Do you remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? It stresses that our needs and frequently desires are inevitably remind those which are mentioned in this hierarchy. Needs of the modern people are equally distributed between 5 needs defined by Maslow.

Commonplace phrases like “buy now” do not work as well as they used to. Today’s consumer wants to investigate the matter before buying something – he wants to understand what benefit he will get. So modern consumer is more selective and meticulous in a good meaning. However, please mind that inclination towards spontaneous purchase is steadily rising. This fact is a proof that modern society is based on consuming instinct.

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

These days’ generation of businessmen sometimes forgets about ideas, creative part of business and business process innovation. The life largely involves changes,  internal and external, world around us accelerates, and the faster it gets, the more people are longing for quiet. Thus  finding a touch point with people is getting harder and harder.  For instance, if you have somebody’s  cell phone number, it doesn’t mean at all you will be able to persuade him to buy your product, because often people just don’t want to interact with it. They surely will listen to you politely, but nothing more.

The relevancy of catalogues sent to the customers is decreasing too. If earlier people may have looked through the catalogue because there was no other option how to find out about new arrivals, now there are other ways to learn about new products, compare them and evaluate. Over many years companies became better at understanding customers’ needs and desires.

For example, if to talk about portable device quality, not only the device quality matters, assembly quality, quality of details and other characteristics also matter. It is important how customer will feel using this device and how comfortable it will be. However,  trying to sell as much as possible, producers neglect the quality, and it concerns all types of products – from simple goods to complicated mechanisms.

Another problem of new or improved product launch is that it is difficult to cut through the noise to the customer, whose needs are completely or partly satisfied. If you want to launch new project or open a new market niche, you will face quite a lot of problems. The conclusions are not so optimistic – it is difficult to attract customers’ attention because they often ignore you.

Chances are slim that you will manage to solve their problems, since they could have been already solved or there is another product which performs the same function. Old rules are not so effective right now. In the future people will try to guard themselves from technical progress – look at the today’s technical business innovation ideas. Frequently they are imposed on people by producers, not people. The source of information input is companies, not consumers, who are bombarded by sometimes useless things.

Conclusion

To create really unique brand development strategy, it is necessarily to choose values which were relevant earlier. Successful companies invest money in customer service and products, not advertisement, because they understand that satisfied clients are more likely to bring benefit than ad campaigns. Modern companies should rely not only on their own experience, but also on the experience of their customers, and therefore offer them bigger values.

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