Customers buy products and services that make their life easier or better. But with the volume of choice we currently have, customers are likely to turn to brands that they like and trust – and for those who never worked with or bought from the business, these decisions will be based on the impression the brand makes on their potential customers. What makes a company stand out is ultimately the quality of their products and services, but in order to get customers to buy from them, companies need to stand out and create a brand that customers want to be associated with.
Petra Smith is the founder and MD of marketing and PR consultancy Squirrels&Bears, based in London, so we ask Petra to help you define and build an iconic brand that is simple to understand that will attract and keep your customer’s attention.
Focus on your business’ strengths
What are the values of your business is built on and know for? Highlight these as one of the key reasons why others should trust your abilities and the quality of the products and services. Define and communicate your strengths without being overly promotional – give your potential customers a reason to have confidence in your brand and let them decide if it is the right match to their needs and wants.
Relate to your target audience
A story only works if told at the right time in front of the right audience. Your target audience should be the person for whom your brand is or would be the first choice. Show your audience that you understand the challenges and context of their situation to build trust and tell the right story at the right time, so you can create a connection between the question and challenges of your audience and your story.
Define your value proposition
Simply put, this is the most compelling reason a consumer chooses your brand. Your unique value proposition is what identifies your business, without it your clients have no reason to choose you over your competitors. A good value proposition is easy to understand and explains how your business is different, and as a general rule, should be clear enough to be read and understood in five seconds.
Communicate the reasons to buy
What solutions are you offering to your customers’ problems or how are you improving their life? Whilst you should focus on highlighting the benefits of your products and services, it’s important to avoid being self-focused. Instead, these should be all about the consumer who will benefit from using them.
Show credibility and insight
Showcasing that you understand your audience, industry and the market can have a great impact on how your brand is perceived. If you can tell others about the success and quality of your services and products, either through customer reviews or case studies, do tell. Media coverage is also another powerful way to build your profile as an expert in your field and reach a large audience of potential customers.