“The first lesson of branding is memorability. It’s very difficult buying something you can’t remember”
– John Hegarty
1.Understand what makes you unique
We are all individual no matter how similar we think we are to someone else, not even twins can have exactly the same experiences, thoughts, beliefs and values.
Brands are no different. The thing that most people get wrong when it comes to branding is that they forget their brand is individual and if it isn’t it should be. They try to emulate global corporations or worse still competitors in their own market. In todays brand heavy world you need to cut through the noise and stand out. Below are some ways you can do this.
Understand what makes your brand unique either by tapping into the story of how it came to be, why you chose to start your journey, company values, product / service offering, the target audience or a mixture of these.
2. Determine your target market
“The odds of you hitting your target go up dramatically when you aim at it”
– Mal Pancoast
For a brand to be successful it needs to stick in the mind of your audience. If you market to everyone you will never be able to connect with one demographic consistently and this is bad news if you want to become memorable.
Clearly defining your target audience and solving a problem or need they have is not only fundamental to your brands success but it should be your starting point.
Some things to consider when defining a target audience are:
- Who has a need for what your brand provides or sells and who is most likely to buy from you.
- Think about demographics like – age range, gender, location, marital status, income and education.
- Think about your audience psychographics which help you to understand your audiences behaviour, values and beliefs.
- Think about where your audience hangs out both online and in person. What publications/blogs do they read, what music do they listen to and what are their hobbies and interests.
This can really help you to understand your audience and give you ideas of how best to serve them, you can take this step further by creating personas.
Do not underestimate the importance of defining a target audience. All your brand marketing, strategy and ongoing communication will use this step to make sure you are reaching the right people. So put the time in now and get this right and remember to be specific.
3. Solve a problem your target market has
“A common mistake i see many startup founders making is they aren’t solving a real problem”
– Alexis Ohanian
Now that you have defined your uniqueness, and your audience. What problems, desires or issues do your target market have and how do your competitors fail to help?
You can use the lean canvas model to quickly flesh out a loose business model that will help you to identify your audiences problems and how to solve these. The connection between the problem and solution becomes the start of your unique selling proposition.
If you have got a clear idea of your audience then defining the pain points they have and coming up with how you will help them to solve this should be relatively easy.
4. Positioning: Differentiate yourself from your competition or create your own category
“Positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect”
– Al Ries
Your ultimate goal in creating a memorable brand is to be the ‘go to brand’ when your target customer thinks of the field you are in. This can be difficult in bigger more competitive markets which is why specialisation is so important in becoming memorable today.
Positioning is the fundamental step to a successful and memorable brand without it memorability will be hard to achieve. Branding is Positioning’s emotion driven counterpart which cannot not be done effectively without the groundwork of a solid positioning statement in place.
It is far easier to get established and remembered as the No1 hipster surf brand, the brand that makes traditional Hawaiian surf boards or the best surf brand for Groms (kids) than it is as being a general Surf Brand that caters for all.
Check the market to find out what position your brand currently holds, check out the competition and the market. You can use Seth Godin’s XY axis technique to quickly test the market for an open hole that your brand can own.
5. Have an effective message that resonates with your audience
“A good slogan sums up a company’s strategy. It sets the tone for the marketing campaigns.”
– Laura Ries
Just Do It
Three simple words that perfectly articulate a brand, an idea and connect with the audience seamlessly. Nike understood their audience and they constructed a slogan that moves them to action, resonates with an idea, a way life and an attitude.
Your slogan wants to speak to your audience in a way that connects with them, try to avoid abstract words where possible opting instead for clear and concise visual words. Other tips for great slogans are the use of, alliteration, rhyme, double entendre and reversal*
*See the book Battlecry by Laura Reis for more Information on these tips.