Your brand is the unique position your company holds in the minds of consumers. It’s not what you say it is. It’s what they believe it is. And most companies don’t really have one. Here’s how that’s hurting you.
No Reason to Buy
A brand makes you the provider of choice. All other things being equal, buyers prefer you. When you don’t have a strong brand, there’s no reason for prospects to choose you over a competitor.
Higher Marketing Spend
When you don’t have a strong brand to frame your marketing, you have to spend a lot more to get and keep your prospect’s attention. With a strong brand, people are naturally interested in what you have to say.
Spending more but getting less means a lower return on your marketing investment. That makes it harder to persuade decision-makers to give you any more marketing resources. And a downward spiral ensues.
Recruiting & Retention
Given a choice, people want to work for companies they know and like — companies with a strong brand. If a job candidate doesn’t know you, or why you’re better, there’s no incentive to choose you — or to stick around if they do.
Social Media Struggles
Much of social media is about likes, follows and shares. Those are much harder to come by when you don’t have a brand. No one really knows why they should like you or follow you. So they don’t.
The media loves a winner. If you have a strong brand — even if, or especially if, that brand is the underdog — it’s a lot easier to get attention in the media. If you don’t, they have zero incentive to cover you.
So how do you create a strong brand – a sturdy position in the minds of your prospects that drives sales? Try these four steps.
- Be brutally honest with yourself about where you are now. If your website says the same things as your competitors, it’s a sign that none of you have a strong brand.
- Ask your best customers why they love you. That’s the start of your brand. And their answers may surprise you.
- The hardest step: from that starting point, decide how you want to be truly different from your competitors.
- With that as your target, rethink everything from your website to your sales approach to the way you train people.