Starting a company or building a business can be one of the most challenging endeavors you will ever tackle in your life.
I think of making the climb to summit the highest mountain peak as one of the best metaphors that can possibly help others
comprehend the challenges we go through.
When it comes to building a company, I’m sure you already know this, but building your brand is really one of the biggest overarching goals.
When it comes to branding, there’s one thing that is a sure fire kiss of death…being a “Me-Too” Brand.
We’re in the Era of Authenticity now my friend, and I want to share 3 winning strategies that will prevail above all others that will help you stand out and celebrate being unique and different. Even if you face stiff competition in your industry.
I’ll use them as a model for these 3 strategies since there’s no better leading brand example that exists in my opinion than the one set by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Companies.
Let me preface these strategies by saying you may have all heard them before, but are you implementing them?
Let’s starts with the fact that Virgin is a true market leader in many of it’s brand categories. Why though?
What makes them head and shoulders above the competition? What strategies can you model in taking your brand into the top 1%?
The answers you seek to what you’re building that will elevate you there (pun intended) lay in 3 key brand strategies Virgin models beautifully.
Strategy Number One…
Revel in challenging the status quo.
One of the things I tell every client to start with is “question absolutely everything.”
Asking the right questions is one of the key ways we evolve into the next evolution of anything.
Powerful Game Changing Question: “What can we do differently than anyone in our industry? What is the competition not seeing, or what are they doing that we need to see and can capitalize on?”
One example of a top leading brand that could have utilized this strategy is Nike when they lost market share to Under Armor. Under Armor’s efforts to surpass Nike started happening through penetrating markets Nike was leaving out! Question everything.
Strategy Number Two…
Here’s how to focus on fun and creating an unforgettable brand experience that creates raving brand evangelists.
Creating the ultimate experience for your consumer/client is what sets you apart and puts your business in a leading position.
Have you gone through every step of how your clients/customers experience you from inception to referral? How can your communication, processes and systems be upleveled to create unforgettable value and an experience that meets their deepest needs?
Here’s a huge nugget of gold for you…if you can create every step of your brand experience to meet the deepest primal needs of us humans you will literally eliminate your competition.
These needs I speak of are omnipresent since we were children and surpass any market data.
They are…Do you see me? Do you hear me? Do you value me? Do you love me?
This right here can be such a game changer when developing your marketing communications, delivering your service, implementing winning business systems, training your team to be extraordinary, doing social media, to engaging in any level of communication that happens during the sales or delivery process of your product.
It’s that big! Zappos is another brand that meets these needs extremely well.
Too many put too much emphasis on doing it like everyone else. Flip that coin!
Break the box (there was never one to begin with!) Life's short. Have fun. Be extraordinary and they'll never forget you.
Strategy Number Three…
Define your brand around your deepest core values and communicate them well in every touch point (and make sure that never changes.)
Your values empower your people from your customers to your team to investors.
When you consistently model and embody the bigger picture of what your brand’s promise is and what that means and WHY, you will inspire and empower everyone to create your legacy.
The important takeaway from this strategy is to communicate them consistently. Are you doing this in everything you do?
Whole Foods Market’s recent brand struggles have a lot to do with the fact that they lost communication with their customers about the important issues they’re facing and the challenges they're taking on in an effort to make their next level leaps. Had they been radically transparent and more vocal about their efforts, even in the face of tackling these challenges, they might have rallied their community to stand behind them and cheer them on instead of receiving criticism and scorn.
Virgin epitomizes the example of these 3 strategies.
While no brand is perfect, and that's never the point, it’s simply a matter of getting down to basics of the human experience, to what matters most, and understanding the core of what connects us.
Often these small yet monumental points are things we can sometimes miss or take for granted.
Now tap into that giant right brain and white board as many game changing ideas as you can, without limits! Go on…elevate your brand into a new level of extraordinary market leader.