It’s easy enough to overthink marketing strategies. There is a lot of useful, highly-actionable advice on what to do and how to do it. The only trouble is that you become another casualty of shiny object syndrome. Yesterday’s brilliant idea is quickly overrun with today’s new idea. And, what’s more there is a new app to make it work faster.
What are some unique ways to get your business name out to the masses? How can you do this in a memorable and useful way?
How to Build Your Brand.
For brand building to be effective, it has to follow the path of least resistance. This way everything that needs to get done happens in a quick, efficient, and cost-effective way. The path of least resistance is to find a way to develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Here are 3 ideas to establish your USP:
- Give it a name
- Make it easy to propagate
- Stay out of the jungle.
Give it a Name.
You may know exactly what you’re doing — what business you’re in, the unique service only you can provide, and exactly who it will help, and how it will help them. Still, that’s not enough. You have to be able to communicate what is in your head into the hearts of your partners, salespeople, and audience. Only then will you have a brand.
Half of what makes Starbucks stand out is that they are different from all other coffee houses. However, their coffee does not sell itself because it has a special flavor as they would like you to believe. Although Starbucks often refer to their coffee as a result of “blending only the finest coffee beans” whether or not it’s the finest coffee in the world is open to debate among coffee lovers. However, what is worth noting is how they have positioned themselves as a unique coffee with interesting and unusual flavors. In other words, it’s not the coffee itself, but the marketing behind it that makes it look like a superior coffee at a reasonable price. The marketing has changed perception of what good coffee should taste like. This positioning starts with their name. It’s a name that catches your attention.
Similarly, what do names of marketing trends like content shock, growth hacking, and permission marketing have in common? The name captures interest, piques curiosity, and wins enough advocates to push the original idea much further.
The name has to be memorable. Starbucks is memorable. Ebay is memorable. Amazon is memorable. It’s actually not clear what the names mean, but they have a nice ring to them—and that’s all that matters in the end.
Make it Easy to Propagate.
Once you’ve found your name, make it easy to propagate. Again, returning to the Starbucks analogy. Their unique name is plastered on all their cups and marketing materials. The ubiquitous stores are instantly identifiable– even if buried in the depths of a grocery store.
One easy way to propagate your unique name is to give away useful promotional merchandise with these two symbols on it. Order bulk thumb drives and give them away. Almost everyone could do with a little more portable digital storage. When it comes to promotional items, most people think of pens and pads of paper, but how many people just text in the information into their mobile device rather than scribbling it down? It’s the same thing with clothes: Do you really want to be wearing baseball caps and jackets that look like promotional wear when you’re going out somewhere? Usually, you just wear that sort of thing when you’re doing yard work on the weekends. Thumb drives, by comparison, are discrete, useful, and always appreciated. They are also often used in public settings—offices, restaurants, and so on—when people use their laptops.
Stay out of the Jungle.
It makes no sense to compete with other businesses who offer the same service. You are then forced to lower your prices, and the winner is the person with the lowest rates. Walmart can afford to do this because they have got their scale of efficiency down to a science. Consequently, they beat out all other discount merchandisers. You, on the other hand, are probably unlikely to be a $160 billion dollar company and if you compete on comparable prices or comparable services, you will only do marginally well. So, just as you have made your name stand out from every other name—most people name their services after the founder—do the same with your service. Figure out what others in your industry are doing, then contemplate what makes you unique and what can you do better than anyone else.
Your One Thing.
Chasing the next big marketing idea has to stop. Here is all you need to do to become a highly effective marketer: Build your brand. When you do this one simple thing, then everything else will fall into place. It’s rather like a flock of geese or a school of fish following a leader. The leader in this case is the concept of building your brand. Every idea that you gather then either fits in with this leading concept or it has to be thrown out. Instead of scattering attention in all directions at once, your marketing path has been set and everything dovetails into it.