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It’s well known that building a brand and maintaining your brand’s image is a critical aspect for business success. While it takes a lot of time and effort to create a sparkling reputation for your company, it only takes seconds to lose it all in our interconnected world. To quote author Guy Kawasaki’s Art of Branding, “Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself,” and it has never been so true thanks to social media.
Recently, a controversy about branding and reputation has gathered some attention. Two companies both named “Peeple”, each with totally different products, are being mistaken for each other. Described by some as “Yelp” for human beings, the upcoming launch of personal rating app “Peeple” has provoked the anger of many internet users that compared its purpose to bullying, harassment and stalking. In short, you use it to rate your fellow human beings based on things like their personalities, their professionalism, and how good they are at dating. Unfortunately, all this negative attention is causing prejudice against the other “People” company, a startup that allows customers to see who is at their door through a connected peephole that sends video to your smartphone. Because people are mixing up the brands and thinking that the tech startup is also the controversial app, they are receiving a poor reputation, negative comments and coverage (even though some may say that there is no negative coverage in business).
Furthermore, the connected peephole company lost all attention on its product this week with all the focus on criticizing the “Peeple” app. If you take a look on their Twitter page and at #Peeple, especially last Wednesday and Thursday, they received thousands of unfavorable Twitter comments and mentions by people who thought they were the ones behind the app. It was very confusing for everyone. However, after tremendous efforts, things have turned around and the startup is receiving great support from many people on social media who have finally realized their mistake. (Just to be clear, it’s perfectly legal for two companies to have the same name if the two companies are registered in different countries, which is the case in this affair.)
This story raises the question: how can you create a unique brand and distinguish it from others? To avoid the problems Peeple encountered, it’s important to establish a brand that stands out from others and represents the values of your company. The biggest companies on the planet all have one thing in common. They have a unique and defined brand.
Here are four things you can do to create a unique brand:
1. Plan for Personality
Nowadays, no one wants to follow a boring brand. People want a company that they can relate to, that has some human characteristics. Brand personality increases customer engagement and allows you also to stand out from a crowd of competitors. To do this, you need to precisely define how your customers speak. What language do they use? What do they live for? How do they interact with each other and build relationships? Engaging and interacting with your customers will create a connection that they find valuable and that they’ll share with others. Once you find your brand’s voice and personality, it is essential to stick with it and be consistent. People will turn away from your brand if you modify the way you interact all the time.
2. Find Your Gold Mine
Understanding what makes you different from industry competitors will help you determine the key points that you can play up to set yourself apart. It could be a selling point, a feature of your product, or even your company culture and team members. Good branding focuses on what you offer to your customers and what makes it a unique opportunity for them. Once you’ve found that one unique aspect, you’ve found your gold mine. Highlight it, draw attention to it, and design your branding around it.
3. Create a Style Guide
Once you have decided your brand personality and voice, it is important to write it down into a guide that everyone in the company can follow for content creation and social media presence. This makes it easier to be consistent in your messaging and interactions while reducing the chances for mistakes. Write everything down in the style guide like hashtags, typography, voice, type of images that are good to use, specific descriptive copy and tone guidelines.
4. Create Branded Social Media Content
Craft and design sharable content with your special touch added to it. This will make it recognizable to others. Utilize creative hashtags, aligned with your company, that your community can refer to and use. For example, the #haveabreak used by KitKat and the #justdoit by Nike are great examples of branding strategies on social media. By developing and sharing branded content in places outside your company website, you continue to encourage your brand’s growth and recognition.
Creating a unique brand that is easily recognizable is hard work, but the gains are worth it. Always try to remain honest, consistent and entertaining. As mentioned earlier, people will get bored and will go somewhere else if you do not continue to maintain their interest. Personality and creativity are key.
Should you want further expert branding advice, contact our experts at ARTÉMIA Communication!
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