Early adopters help define markets. But, they don’t always get things right. Learn from both their successes and shortcomings to uncover ways to distinguish your business from them. Make it a point to avoid the trappings of sameness that comes from emulating others.
Brand building is about creating a frame of mind that nobody owns but you.
As Howard Kosgrove, vice principal of marketing at Lindsay, Stone and Briggs Advertising in Madison, WI, put it, “A brand is the one thing that you can own that nobody can take away from you. Everything else, they can steal. They can steal your trade secrets. Eventually, your patents will expire. Your physical plant will wear out. Technology will change. But your brand can go on and live. It creates a lasting value above and beyond all the other elements of your business.”
Never lose sight of what makes you great, why you do things differently and why it matters to your audience.
Reinforce it with an identity that connects and a message that resonates. Instead of joining the conversation, control the dialogue.
You cannot get there by following others.
Greatness cannot be achieved within a vacuum. It takes vision, perseverance and a team of experts to make it happen. It requires an understanding of what your audience wants, even if it’s something that doesn’t quite exist. You aim high, learn from your failures and never say, “It can’t be done.”
If any of these scenarios seem familiar, perhaps it’s time to consider retooling your brand.
The more experts you keep in your circle, the better you’ll be at determining your next great move. And, the better chance you’ll have that your crew will follow and grow with you.
So, if you find yourself continually restating your promise or steering your audience away from false perceptions, then it’s time to take a step back and see where things have gone astray. And, that might just require the objectivity that can only come from outside of your organization.
If your branding efforts aren’t branching out beyond your customer base, you’re missing an opportunity for it to take root in areas where it can add real value to your business.