How To: Differentiate Your Brand

There is so much more to branding than just a sharp logo and great color scheme. Sure, the logo may be the first thing that people think of when they hear your brand name, but there’s psychological evidence that shows your brand's success is based more on how people feel than just what they see.

Think about Nike. Their trademark “swoosh” may not actually make people run faster or lift heavier but somehow, through their brand, they give their customers the feeling that they can. The power of Nike’s brand has customers coming back for more, and while their shoes might just be shoes, their brand’s competitive advantage all over the world lets them charge a sizable premium.

Other brands have successfully done this too; for example, just seeing the "Tiffany Blue" color immediately makes people think of “romance”, and much to Tiffany’s advantage, you can’t put a price on love.

So, how are you supposed to achieve this kind of brand differentiation and customer loyalty?

Here are our top 5 tips:

  • Consider your differentiators: Understanding what makes you different from your competition will give you a huge leg-up when it comes to building your brand. Are you the cheapest on the market? The highest quality but most expensive? Do you provide better customer service than anyone else out there? Your brand should reflect the things that make you different, because this will help answer customers' questions as to why they need you specifically.
  • Create a memorable tagline: Creating a tagline can help center your brand and focus your efforts. Nike’s “Just Do It” sets the stage for all motivational campaigns, and helps bring their brand the cohesion that makes them memorable. A tagline can help tell customers exactly what you are about, and if used correctly, can help evoke emotions that keep them coming back for more.
  • Think about how you want your customers to feel: Consider what is most important to you when building your brand. Do you want to make people feel happy, relaxed, motivated, or perhaps just like they can trust you? Your design and messaging should all be based on how you’d like your customers to feel, because the associations that they make with your brand and how much they will be willing to pay all come down to exactly that.
  • Ask for feedback early on: In the early stages of developing your brand, ask your friends and family what comes to mind when they look at your logo or your website. Their feedback can be invaluable, and they may make surprising associations that are either positive or negative that you hadn’t previously considered. Rebranding can cost significant time and money, so it’s better to get things right first time.
  • Be consistent: Decide on a direction for your brand and stick with it. It’ll take regular campaigning and a significant amount of time to build your brand, but so much of your success will come from consistency.

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