Building a brand for todays competitive marketplace - How to make it different, visible and relevant

Guest blog by James Massey

As we get back to some sort of normality and the World looks to see how it can re-connect with its customers in a more digital landscape, building a brand with the right foundations has become key.

The building blocks for any successful brand break down into three areas. These are:

Being Different
Being Visible
Being Relevant

Being Different - this is all about what sets you apart from the competition, and should drive the whole ethos of your business. It doesn't matter how big or small your business is, you need to have this. It’s about what role your brand serves in the customer's world. It's understanding ‘why’ you are different, what problems your brand solves, and how it solves them. More importantly, is it being believable in the customer's eyes.

AirBnB are a really good example of this. They allow people to stay in unique places for a fraction of the price you would pay for a hotel, and it is believable because so many people use it. It lives up to its purpose - ‘Create a world where anyone can belong’.

Don’t forget AirBnB is as the name suggests, and it has been around in the UK for years - it's just that they thought of another way to make it different.

To find your purpose, you need to look at these two areas: What’s wrong with the current market, and what's special about your product/service. In other words, what’s something that your industry needs, that only you can provide with your special skills?

What underpins your ‘purpose’ is your brand values. Successful companies live and die by them, but many companies have them and yet don’t deliver against them - they are than more just words!! This is a whole new subject matter, which we can talk about in another blog.

Being Visible - This is all about the creative execution, and is something which most companies just don’t get. To become more visible, you need to be brave in your creative execution. Think back five or six years ago, to when the first John Lewis Christmas TV commercial came out. Look at the coverage that it got, and look at how many other retailers started doing the same thing.

To make your brand more Visible, you need to define its personality. Just like people have different personalities, so do brands. I am amazed at how many companies you come across that don’t have one. Nowhere is this more true that in the world of B2B, and you only have to look at the homepage of many B2B websites to see what I mean! Until you have defined your personality (which will also determine your tone of voice), how can you get a creative team to design your Communications?

Creating a unique personality will help you to become more visible and establish your point of difference, as we talked about earlier. For starters, ask your staff how they would describe the personality of your brand, which words would they use to do so - you might be surprised!!

Lastly, being Relevant is all about writing content that is engaging and always links back to your ‘purpose’. It should also reflect your personality. Think about what your customer wants to hear/learn about, will it be content that they will want to share? Always be prepared to have an opinion.

So there you have it. It sounds so simple, but actually requires a lot of thought and time to get right. When you do get it, stick to it and make sure that everything you do links back to it. You will then be Different, Visible and Relevant!!