Every business owner wants their company to stand out from the competition. To successfully set your brand apart, you need to understand your differentiators. Those differentiators can be found by defining your target market, competition, niche and position. Getting noticed in the crowd is going to mean prioritizing your marketing efforts.
Ask yourself a few questions:
Who’s your target audience?
Your target market is not “everyone.” You aren’t going to sell your product to everyone. Who is the most important audience you’re trying to reach? Identify your top target and some secondary targets for your brand and get to know who those people are. These are the people you’re going to need to persuade to buy your products.
Find out what they care about, what’s important to them regarding your product or services and what makes them tick in general. You need to understand who they are and why they would buy from you. Narrowing down and understanding your target markets will make you better able to craft messages that solves their specific problems and meets their specific needs. Doing that will get you noticed.
Who’s your competition?
Before you can stand out, you need to know what you’re up against. Take some time to research your competition and see how they compare and what marketing tactics and tools they are using. You DO have competition (many times clients think they are the only ones offering their products or services); do some comprehensive research to figure out who they are.
Getting to know your competition will help you understand which marketing channels you need to stand out on. It will also help you to position yourself to compete directly with them.
What is your niche?
Once you’ve researched your competition, you should know what makes your products or services stand out. You offer something unique that no other business is offering, even those in the same industry. You’re doing it differently, and you need to identify what it is that makes you different.
What are your strengths? What are you not that the others are? What is your niche?
What’s your position?
Establish who your business is and what you want it to be known for; set your position. What are the essential qualities that set your brand apart? Your position should distinguish you from other companies like yours. Your position will be reflected in your brand, but it’s a tool you should use internally.
For example: Home Depot’s position is that it’s the hardware department stores for the do-it-yourselfers. Their brand reflects this in their tagline “You can do it. We can help.” Home Depot has positioned themselves as the store for everyone, not just contractors and professionals. They’ve set themselves apart by being the place to go for DIY home improvement. The spirit of that position is clearly reflected in their brand’s tagline and the types of content they post online.
Be consistent in your messaging
Once you have answered the above questions, spread a consistent message across all your marketing channels. Use your website, print media, social media, video to show your target market who you are. Repetition of a meaningful message will grab your market’s attention and help build brand awareness. Be consistent, but don’t be afraid to monitor and tweak the message based on what’s working for you and what’s not.
If you want your brand to stand out, you need to start with what your customers want and then establish who you are. Understanding who your competition is, what your target market is looking for and what makes you unique are the first steps in getting noticed. Building your brand based on market research and self-awareness will help you stand out in the marketplace.