5 Ways to Make Your Brand Stand Out

  •    Celeste Altus is a business and technology writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has lead San Francisco bureaus of Adweek and PRWeek magazines.

No matter how fantastic your product, there is one mission every successful business also needs to excels at: great branding. The best branding positions your company as a leader in its space and creates an emotional, loyal attachment with customers.

Successful companies get their name, logo, colors and their “identity" out in the forefront — and keep customers coming back for more.

If your store is making one-off sales, but failing to build that kind of brand loyalty with repeat purchases, all is not lost. You'll just need some creative thinking and actionable steps to strengthen your brand message.

Consistency is Key

Take a critical eye to your site and your messaging. Have a friend or colleague from your industry critique it from a customer perspective. Is it all over the place? Does your design use every color of the rainbow? Narrow down the look of your store or site to keep it simple and consistent. Colors are a big identifier, as are favorite fonts. Think of Coke or Starbucks and their use of one color for visual appeal. Keep your brand's presentation constant across all platforms.

Keep up with Current Events

Follow the news and be mindful of important topics and issues your audience follows. Make sure you're posting to your blog or social media sites frequently and keep your content fresh. An excellent way to build trust with consumers is to offer helpful content, especially in times of crisis. Airbnb was applauded after Hurricane Harvey when it provided its "Urgent Accommodations" service free of charge to displaced victims.

Create Interesting Content

Interactive is what it's all about. The content that spurs action: video, polls or questions on social media are all engaging ways of getting your site or store in front of a larger audience. Infographics are one of the best and most highly shared marketing tools as well. People are visual learners, and 90 percent of information transmitted to our brains is visual. Captioned text, like infographics, is read four times as often as text alone. Creating a helpful infographic about your industry is a great way to position your brand as a leader.

Listen to Your Customers

It's been said your brand identity is not what you think it is, it's what your customer thinks it is. Solicit feedback from your core audience. What makes your business stand out? If it's customer service, commitment to the environment, or craftsmanship, make sure that unique value proposition is highlighted across mediums.

Audit, Audit, Audit

Once a brand is built, don't keep it stagnant. Consider your branding a fluid project that is ongoing. Make a practice of going back and examining successes to see what's working best, and build from there.

With the infinite choices in today's world, consumers look for shortcuts when making quick buying decisions. Spend time making your brand stand out, and become a familiar and trusted choice.