10 Tips for Improving Your Brand and Outshining Competition 

Great companies offer something more to customers than just products and services. The essence of a company, or its brand, stands to attract a loyal community, leading to more sales, and revenue in return.

In a workshop titled “Build a World-Class Brand,” Josh Webber shared strategies to improve branding and outshine competitors. Webber founded Big Red Jelly – a branding, marketing, and web design agency. He started Big Red Jelly in 2018 after graduating from the University of Utah. This workshop was provided by Lassonde for Life, a free program designed to support University of Utah alumni along their entrepreneurial journeys. In his presentation, Webber shared 10 expert tips for building an admirable brand. Read on to discover success-boosting strategies below.

Webber and the Big Red Jelly team have helped thousands of businesses globally to build better brands. A few mentionable names include the University of Utah Health, MIT, and Swig. Companies with better branding have more repeat customers, high market share, fewer recessions, high employee happiness, and additional advantages. Having a solid identity positively impacts a business’s outward perception and internal workplace as well.

Defining a brand 

Big Red Jelly defines branding as “the perception that your ideal customers have of your business,” Webber said. Brands become created from how you interact with customers to product packaging. Branding is affected by every aspect of business and every customer touch point.

Webber said a business and a brand are two separate identities. Business umbrellas are the products and services offered. Branding shares the story representative of a company. When perfected, branding gains an attractive public opinion.

Understanding an ideal customer

Consider the qualities of an ideal customer or company partner. Find out the customer personas with demand for products and services offered. Webber considers ideal customers and partners the golden eggs and geese of branding. Find the perfect customer and build and market a brand around them.

Focus on what you do best

Don’t be afraid of being niche, especially as a startup. According to Webber, the trick is targeting the top 5% of current customers, as this category is usually obsessed with a brand and loyal to it. Early adopters will be the first ones to review products and get everyone after them on board.

Webber recommended using the “hedgehog diagram,” which includes three different spheres regarding brand positioning. First, consider what you are passionate about, what makes money, and what you can be the best at. Focus on what a business can do well and specialize.

Understand the why

Nowadays, traditional advertising falls short. Surrounded by a commercial world, consumers aren’t dazzled by advertising like they used to be. To connect with customers, brands must display their unique purpose.

Customers respond positively to authenticity and self-aligned values. It is beneficial for companies to display brand-proclaimed values rather than flashing products. When company values synchronize throughout a brand and its founder, prospective customers feel good supporting it.

Brand archetypes

Different brand archetypes uniquely represent brands. While Disney compares to a magician, Dove’s brand is innocent. Some archetype examples include the caregiver, explorer, or the hero. These archetypes should resonate with the top 5% of obsessed customers. Through communicating with customers, companies can understand what brand loyalists love and become it.

Be niche

Many brands want an expansive customer base. However, the further you branch out, the more competitors you have. It is unlikely that your brand will ever be too niche, so focus on slimming down target audiences.

Obsess over your tribe

Your most loyal customers will string everyone else along. Once you’ve established a loyal following, figure out your top 20% of customers and why they love your brand. By catering to a company tribe, you maintain and grow a loyal customer base.

Secure internet presence 

Claim a domain and social media handles for your company in advance. Doing so will ensure branding stays consistent across all platforms. Nothing will be more painful than creating branding around a company name that’s already been taken.

Focus on details 

Similar to how fancy hotels leave complimentary chocolates on pillows and shape towels into animals, branding is all in detail. Consider the 1% you can add and deliver. While it’s worth pennies in comparison to services and products offered, it has exponential value to consumers. Small touches delight customers and go a long way.

Keep customers in the flywheel

Flywheel marketing is a cycle that keeps customers at the center of a process. Every aspect of a business is a part of its brand, and branding is involved in every customer interaction and experience. Positive customer experience leads to positive perception and maintains the essence of a brand.

Final suggestions

Weber also points out a common branding mistake. Many companies attempt to follow the steps of large brands. In doing so, a company prevents itself from differentiating itself and taking advantage of the unique value it can offer. Competing with big established companies is impossible, so make yours different. Make your brand unique, be obsessed with it, and tell a story the world wants to hear.

About the Author:

Abigail Cheney Originally from Connecticut, Abigail Cheney came to the University of Utah for their esteemed entrepreneurship and marketing programs. She is passionate about startups and entrepreneurial exploration. Her enthusiasm aligns with writing and additional artistic endeavors. Connect on LinkedIn.

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