If you are just about to create your first business, you might be suffering from a headache and trying to decide how to beat the competition. The simple answer is being unique, credible, and offering more value than other companies out there. No matter if you are starting a marketing consultancy or a beauty salon, you will have to develop your own brand voice and identity, communicate it with your target market, and ensure that you align your personal and brand messages with your potential customers’. Below you will find a few tips on how to get started.
No matter what type of business you are starting, it has to come from the heart. Add your personal touch to whatever you are doing. If you are an outgoing person, make it clear in your networking meetings and on your branding materials. Think about your personal qualities that make you stand out from the crowd and apply these to create a strong brand persona that people can relate to. You need to remember that people generally don’t buy from companies; they buy from individuals.
Mission and Vision Statement
If you would like to communicate what your company is about, you will need to spend time to create your mission and vision statement and make sure that you are clearly communicating these on your website, on your leaflets, advertising materials, and other communication. Your mission and vision statement should be the guiding principle of how you do business and how your products or services benefit your market. Without this step, you will not be able to get strong branding message out there.
Unique Selling Proposition
The next step of creating a brand that lasts is finding what makes your business unique. Whether you are in the business to business or business to customer field, you will need to develop your unique selling proposition. This will define what sets you apart from the competition. If you are a consultant, you might offer free meetings and blueprints, while if you are a service provider, you might help your clients make the most out of their services and use your packages better in the future.
One of the elements of your marketing mix is place. Your business location needs to suit your potential clients and be convenient enough. If you are starting a professional beauty salon, for example, you will need to consider parking, facilities, the general environment and neighborhood, and the atmosphere of the venue. Check out independent services to find out how you can make the most out of the different types of business venues available for various industries and businesses.
Premises and Interior Design
Of course, your interior design also plays an important role in developing your brand. It needs to be welcoming and comfortable, while matching the taste and preferences of your clients and customers. You might want to employ an interior designer to tailor your commercial space to your brand’s identity and make sure that your colors and your logos are clearly recognizable in the space. You will need to order posters and banners to make your space showcase your best offers and the benefits of your services.
Your marketing tools will need to communicate the same consistent messages. You might want to employ a branding specialist or enroll in a specific training that will help you create your unique voice and communicate the value of your company to your target market. If you engage in social media marketing, you will need to make sure that you are not confusing your audience. Have one brand name, one logo, and one tagline across all marketing channels, so your target audience will remember and recognize you better.
It is crucial that you create social proof when building your brand online and offline. If you are not able to get customers to review your services or products, you will find it much harder to gain the trust of your future clients. Social proof is more important when it comes to trust-based industries, such as counseling, hypnotherapy, coaching, or legal services, as well as when it comes to high ticket items, such as training programs or software. The more testimonials and public reviews you can get the better you will fare against the competition. Ask your first clients for a video testimonial in exchange for a discount, so you can build your brand’s reputation online faster.
You will need to add more value than your competition if you would like to stand out from the crowd and keep your business profitable. Find ways of going the extra mile for your customers, and make them feel valued and appreciated. If you can find a way of providing bonuses or exceptional advice, free complimentary services, you are more likely to achieve a high brand preference and loyalty, which – in turn – will result in lower marketing costs and higher customer values.
Being the First or Being the Best
There are two main ways of standing out in a competitive market: being the leader in innovation or being the best at what you do. Many business owners believe that research and development, innovation are not relevant to their industry. However, in today’s technologically enabled economy, you will need to stay ahead of your competition, when it comes to meeting your customers’ expectations and making it easier for them to find out more about your services. If you are the first company that introduces a time saving app or a custom feature, you will have a better chance of capturing a large market share.
Branding is often underrated by business owners. While getting your promotions out there is important, you will also have to focus on creating a consistent message that reflects your mission and vision, and highlights the unique features of your product or service. Pay attention to your brand identity and you will be able to break into the most competitive markets and maintain your market share.