Some of our brand-building customers worry a lot about this topic. Some brands should worry more about this topic than other and do something about it. The market is crowded out there and it’s vital that you differentiate your brand and stick out. Too many waste their energy checking out their competition. This can be a good thing in moderation, mostly to see what you should NOT do. When a company does their thing and you end up copying their selection, product, marketing strategy whatever, you will ALWAYS end up as number 2.
Here are some points to think about and implement, to avoid getting trapped in the ”copy and paste” mentality in business.
- First of all, you have to decide to be different, in order for the rest of the points to make sense. Decide from the get-go that you and your brand should be different from the competition.
- Show YOU to the world. Let people know who YOU are, and what you look like. People like people and therefore connect better to brands that have a face and a person behind it.
- Tell your and your brand’s story. How it came to be, how it all started, let your customers in. Talk about the process and the product development. People remember stories better than facts.
- Get inspiration from unusual places. There are the popular blogs, websites, and magazines that designers follow. Try to look in unusual places for inspiration, in places that only you find interesting and applicable to your brand. Then mix all that inspiration together and pour it in your brand.
- Follow your intuition. Only you will know when decisions feel right or wrong. Your brain or other people’s recommendations and suggestions might be logical, but only you know in your soul what is right for you and your brand. Take notice of hunches you get from your intuition and follow it. Let this help you in the directions and decisions you take.
- What do you stand for? What is important to you and what do you believe in? Figure it out and share it with your customers.
- Keep your sensors out. See, listen, feel the vibes and LEARN from what’s happening around you, in your industry, other industries, in your city, in the whole world. What is relevant to you and your brand? How does this affect you and your customers? Take that in and apply what you feel is relevant to your business.
- Do. Take action and actually do stuff, that moves you and your business forward. Test things out, some stuff will work some will not, but the more you test, iterate and the more you actually do, the more it will succeed.
Give a damn: about your relationships.
Don’t give a damn: about what random people say and think.
- Take some calculated risks. Do something either in your designs, your communication, or your visual that stands out! You are looking for a wow effect. Keep it interesting and get your customers attention. Give people something to talk about, be it your product, your marketing, your latest post on Instagram. Whatever it may be, give them reasons to think and talk about you. This should obviously be consistent with your brand’s vision, mission, story, and branding.
- Be consistent. You are the only one that can do YOU. Since there is only one you in the whole universe, by default you will be different from the rest – if you stick to you, your gut feeling and your quirkiness that is.
- Deliver. Many companies fail in little things that have a big impact on their customers’ perception of them. If you make sure you deliver and actually do what you promise, already there you have an advantage over your competitors.
- Never compare yourself or your brand to others. Stop looking at your competitors’ sites and offers. It’s good to know what they do in order for you to go the other way, but if you keep too close of an attention, you will unknowingly end up copying them.
- Give a damn: about your relationships. By genuinely caring about people, (your coworkers, your suppliers, and manufacturers, your customers) you will touch their hearts and this will probably have positive, long-lasting effects on your business.
- Don’t give a damn: about what random people say and think. Nobody knows your potential, drive, ambition and your dream. People don’t know what you are capable of. If you let yourself be dictated by other peoples opinions, you will never reach your goal!
- Love it. You have to be really passionate about what you are doing. There will be times when you feel a bit low and when things will not go your way. Your passion for the brand is going to keep you persisting and pushing till you get over the obstacles.
- Come to terms with that most people don’t actually give a fuck. They have themselves to think about, they have their own lives and businesses, and that’s ok. What you do is for you. It’s your game. Your life. Your business.