Branding is one of the single most important elements of growing a business, yet it’s often neglected at the expense of other administrative tasks. If you want to successfully grow your company, you need your brand to stand out. But how?
3 Tips for Standing Out
The internet has had a profound impact on small brands by democratizing top-heavy industries and creating tangible platforms for competition. And while this is ultimately a good thing, lowering the barriers to entry has created plenty of noise.
This has made it incredibly challenging to stand out in any meaningful way. But for businesses that are willing to get creative, it’s not impossible. Here are some tips you can use to help your brand rise above the fray and resonate with your target audience:
1. Use New Social Platforms
Networks like Facebook and Twitter are highly effective in terms of reach, but if you’re looking to stand out and make your brand known, you’ll have to commit considerable time and resources into building your presence on these platforms. An alternative is to target smaller, emerging platforms that are on the rise.
The fast-growing platform TikTok is a great example. Similar to the now defunct “Vine,” this social media app is taking the digital world by storm. It allows users to post short videos that are funny, engaging, and unique. The videos play on a 15-60 second loop and can be edited, shared, and viewed by users.
And while it’s now surpassed 1 billion downloads, TikTok is still a relatively small player in the field. By targeting a platform like TikTok, where there’s less brand competition, you could gain a foothold in a space that’s still equally powerful (in terms of engaging customers). Keep an eye on other social networking apps and continually seek out opportunities for differentiation.
2. Attend Live Events
We live in a business world where it seems like everything is online. But who says you have to focus all of your branding efforts on social media, email, and digital content? If you want to stand out, you have to be willing to go against the grain. At a time when brands are solely emphasizing online mediums, try moving toward more in-person opportunities that allow you to interact with customers in a face-to-face fashion.
Trade shows and other live events are highly effective. When attending these events, use backlit trade show displays to stand out and draw people into your booth. A three-minute conversation with someone at a trade show is far more effective than a 30-minute online interaction. It establishes trust and familiarity that can’t be fostered virtually. Don’t underestimate this!
3. Gamify Your Audience
The best way to stand out is to engage your audience and make them a part of what you’re doing. There are dozens of ways to do this, but gamification is currently one of the top trends.
“Gamification, which is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems, started off as a tactical approach to solving engagement crises in our organizations,” expert Gabe Zichermann explains. “Increasingly, smart companies are using gamification as a strategy, transforming the way they interact with both their consumers and their employees, from bottom to top and top to bottom.”
Gamification can be used in a variety of ways. Examples include quizzes and surveys, systems where customers earn points based on certain actions, interactive games, social media contests, the ability to earn badges or work towards higher rankings, leaderboards with scores, etc.
You’ll have to figure out what type of gamification works best within the context of your branding. However, make sure you’re taking full advantage of this powerful strategy and not overlooking it simply because it requires strategy and thought. Sometimes it’s the most contrarian approaches that yield the best results.
Elevate Your Brand
Branding is as much about creating and communicating your company’s flavor to your audience as it is about reaching your audience. Hopefully, this article has given you some tangible ideas of how you can rise above the noise of competition and reach your audience in profound and meaningful ways. Good luck!
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