1. Pay attention to physical attributes
While physical characteristics are not necessarily pre-requisites for building a strong brand, they do help in identifying and distinguishing a brand from the others. Most product-based brands succeed in this. Service brands have to work harder to achieve this as they are not as tangible as the product-brands.
The use of a colour, logo, a unique word and experience to differentiate your brand can help you achieve this. Think of popular brands in different industries. For many in the food industry, we remember their slogans. For the telecommunications industry, they use colours most of the time. Some small businesses build the CEO’s brand as the face of the business, such that it tilts more to personal branding. For others, it is the corporate culture that differentiates the brand.
Regardless of the size of your business, think of a unique way to communicate your brand’s differentiating traits to the public. It is a great way to build your fans.
2. Create a distinct personality
I have heard of a woman who started selling varieties of Nigerian soup on Facebook. After about six months of consistent online posting, she started exporting her soup abroad for the consumption of Nigerians in the Diaspora. It is amazing.
What fascinates me about this woman’s story is how she was able to attract her audience organically. She started out by sharing pictures of herself making soup in a kitchen on social media. She did this in such a way that people identified with her passion for cooking.
Finally the woman was able to serve a niche market, while creating a distinct brand personality. Her story shows that there is power in creating a distinct personality and serving a niche market.
3. Creating convenient touch points
A major limitation to doing business online is the advantage in a face-to-face interaction. The products are physically far from the consumers. So, there is always a problem seeing the actual products.
Pickup and delivery logistics are also unique challenges. Paying for a service rendered can come with its challenges when reconciliation is not done right away. Your online brand is an extension of your business in the physical space. This translates to duplicating a customer’s offline experience in the online space, at least up to 90 per cent.
Creating convenient ways for customers to get close to your products or services can leave a lasting impression on your customers. For example, a restaurant may choose to do this through their website, blogs or social media pages by uploading creative dishes they serve.
A particular company in the service industry encourages loyal customers who have used their service to post weekly photos and rewards the most liked. That way, they do not only get new customers, they take advantage of the viral nature of such social posts to increase visibility and social equity of their brand.
4. Sell benefits, not features
In communication, one of the first things that stick to you is how to sell a brand in such a way that the recipient of your message finds a space for the product or service in their lives. A phone with torchlight features will hardly drive a purchase until you sell the convenience of having both devices as two separate tools.
The best way to achieve this is to first list the features that your target market would find interesting and add to that the benefits each feature offers.