Chances are, you’ve already heard about the importance of building a trusted and unique brand.
Words like “brand awareness” and “brand recognition” are often tossed around, and are synonymous with achieving success and gaining a strong foothold in your market, especially when there are thousands of other businesses competing for your customer’s attention.
That’s what this little post is all about.
Defining Your Brand Message
When it comes to maximizing your income, and establishing a strong foothold within your market, you absolutely need to build a unique and recognized brand that aligns with a clear and direct brand message.
Your brand message explains to potential customers what you have to offer, and how committed you are to providing quality and value.
It’s your job to lay the groundwork as to what you want people to know about your business and then work towards supporting that identity through demonstrating knowledge, skills and capabilities to deliver what was promised.
However, your customers will be the ones who decide what your overall brand image is based on their interactions with your business.
A well-defined, strategic brand message can build instant credibility in your niche, while helping you gain authority in your market and shape how customers perceive your business. It’s quite often the key difference between a well-structured online presence, and a faltering business that is struggling to connect with its audience.
So, how can you build a recognized brand that provides a clear message that resonates with your market?
Start by thinking about your target audience and what is most important to them. Once you’ve evaluated your niche, you will be able to position yourself so that you are directly addressing their most burning questions, concerns and needs.
To do this, you need to gather as much intelligence on your market as possible, which you can do easily just by looking at the competition.
Take things to social media and begin by evaluating social signals – which are clear indicators as to what is currently in demand, popular and selling well. The higher level of interaction, the more advertising dollars spent, and the more engagement; the better.
Knowing how to develop a strategic brand message begins by recognizing what is already successful and improving on it within your own business.
You want to become the go-to person in your niche market, the obvious choice when customers are considering who to turn to when making their purchasing decisions.
When you work towards building an unwavering presence in your market, starting with a strong foundation of trust, you’ll immediately eliminate the barriers standing in the way of you connecting with your target audience.
To do that, you need to learn as much about them as possible so that you can build a brand around what is most likely to capture their attention.
And how do you do begin? It starts with what is called a U.S.P.
What U.S.P Really Means
Let me get right down to it. USP stands for unique selling proposition (or unique selling point), and it is critical that you establish what yours will be right from the start.
Sure, those are components of your overall brand that help people identify your products and recognize you, however, a USP is far more important than that when it comes to building your customer base, and breaking through the barriers of resistance that most businesses experience when they first appear in their market.
A USP is what truly tells potential customers how you are different from the competition. It helps to align your goals with your customer’s. Your USP tells them that you can be trusted, that you have their best interests at heart, and that you fulfill all promises. And most importantly, a USP ensures you aren’t a faceless brand.
This would include key factors that differentiate a product or service from its competition, such as the lowest price, an extended, no-risk guarantee, a unique or exclusive product or offer not found anywhere else, or the first-ever product of its kind.
To start, think about what your product or service has that the competition doesn’t.
Consider ways you can highlight those differences and emphasize the benefits. Paint a clear picture as to why a prospect is making a wiser, sound decision to purchase your product instead of someone else’s.
Your USP is the driving force behind clearly illustrating value and giving potential customers a reason to purchase from you rather than the competition. That’s its one and only job.
OK, that’s it for now but if you want an expanded version of this post covering other points such as creating a powerful brand, the 4 essential elements of a killer brand, plus a handy check list, then click here and you can download a handy pdf to read whenever is convenient.
And if you want to learn more about how businesses use branding then check out this great course called B.R.A.N.D. here.