It should be an integral part of your strategy to make your brand one of your most valuable assets. Your people will change, your product will evolve but your brand will prevail throughout and hence you should always look to invest and develop it.
If your brand is going to achieve this, you need to have very strong differentiators. These are the things that you claim about your business, that your competitors cannot or will find difficult to say. These are the elements of your brand that make you unique. If you cannot identify any differences between you and your competitors, your brand will not be distinctive - it will be weak. Research has shown that:
High growth businesses are x3 more likely to have a strong distinctive brand with easy to identify differentiators.
Technology companies often struggle to identify the right differentiating levers. Often the product offering is complex and the business gets lost in trying to describe the technical functionality of the product. Without getting to some of the emotional proposition lead elements many Techcos are forced into trying to differentiate as a trusted partner, best service or having the best people. But this isn’t distinctive enough to set you apart.
Firstly you want to be able to differentiate with things that will be relevant and attractive to your audience. Once you have potential areas, you should immediately look to see if you can attach only you status to these potential levers – in other words none of your competitors can say this. We call these elements your ‘simple truths’. You cannot invent these aspects of your business/brand. They have to be real, relevant and provable to your customers.
One other area that needs clarification is what your brand is not. It is not your:
These are tools that help you communicate your differentiators.
Target Audience Focus:
This should be your starting point. Make sure you have your audiences identified fully. Never think that you can achieve universal appeal. You need to have a target to aim for and then use that to build your differentiation from.
You need to be relevant to someone not everyone.
Once these targets are identified, you should develop detailed personas for each different segment. This creates a real person structure of characteristics and traits around your targets so that you begin to see them as real people. This is important as any propositions you develop for these targets should be people and not position of demographic orientated.
Making Your Targets Succeed:
When you look to identify key differentiators, they must be things that will benefit your audience. Things that bring success to their business. Your business/brand should be able to recognise and define a problem that these targets are aware of and to then be able to solve that problem and enable the target company to achieve success as a result. Remember being knowledgeable about a subject alone is not enough.
What makes them interested in you is what you can do to make them succeed as a business or brand – it's that simple.
At the core of good content and inbound marketing is that you provide a steady stream of valuable information to your existing and potential customers.
It is important to note that this content is not promotional but educational orientated.
This educational type of content will help build trust and credibility for your business. These are very valuable elements in developing your brand. Inbound marketing responds to the digital culture that businesses operate in today. Businesses encounter many challenges and problems as they look to establish and/or grow. They are also looking for solutions to these issues and they go on-line to find these solutions. This is where they have to find your business and the solutions you bring to their problems. You are offering this content as proof of ability, expertise and knowledge rather than simply offering and selling your services.
It is a powerful way of highlighting your unique differentiators, proving your ability to identify a problem for your targets and show them how they can be solved and thereby enabling their businesses to succeed. This is a also central part of growing your brand and your own sales leads online.
Your people are a central part of your business. How good they are determines how good your service/product delivery will be. Getting the best people is always an ambition for high growth companies and also a huge challenge. From a brand perspective, there is a direct correlation between strong brand and the ability to recruit the best people. But at all times during your evolvement as a business, not all of your people are the same and not all of your people will drive your brand.
Every business should have key persons that are well known to your target audience.
It is important that you look to develop this visibility with your key people. This aids your ability to differentiate and build your brand.
Examine the industry verticles you have expertise in? What services are you particularly good at delivering? Where do you offer the most value and enjoy greatest success? Your differentiation will be core pillars of your success. Make sure you focus hard on defining them and that you are sure they will stick with your audience. Most of your competitors will not do this. They will take a broader approach and look to be something for everyone. This is your great opportunity to be something to a few. To ensure these few can be successful with your partnership.
For more information about how you can differentiate your brand and activate an inbound marketing strategy for your business, download our Ebook now.
In this eBook, we look at the reasons why traditional marketing tactics no longer work and why Inbound Marketing is the future of successful digital marketing.See our full range of resources