Your top competitor out-sells you month after month. After all the blood, sweat, and tears poured into your product, it feels cosmically abhorrent to allow the injustice.
Or said another way: what gives?
You can have the best product in the world and still undersell if the branding lacks in comparison—what makes your product different from every other on the market?
David Brier, President and Creative Director of DBD International, shares insight about branding’s essential part of a product’s success.
What we discuss:
- Discussing branding myths & David’s background
- Differentiating from the competition
- Avoiding branding mistakes
- Crafting a brand story and gaining attention
Discussing branding myths & David’s background
For David, it’s always been about finding the things that make him turn his head in awe—something done with effort to impress their audience; like a street performer balancing spinning plates or a baker who’s just put out a fresh sourdough.
Creativity expands a person’s view of the world in a way that forever sticks with them. Think back to a movie that changed your life or a favorite toy you refused to put down.
So when a brand ignores their window to create an awe moment, no one’s head turns. That’s where David steps in: to create brand differentiation. For many, it’s an executive-level task to find what makes their brand special; for David, it’s all around:
”They’re blind to what’s amazing, and oftentimes hiding in plain sight.” — David Brier
But what if a brand doesn’t think they need their awe moment? To them, the product or service is their awe moment; why would they need to do more?
Sadly, the myth that a great product or service will sell itself is shared by many in the industry. No amount of blood, sweat, and tears will save a great product if the branding doesn’t align.
Differentiating from the competition
Say it with me: branding is the art of differentiation. Whether it’s a product, person, or service, that thing needs to be different from every other similar thing.
”It’s what they do to clearly, not only be perceived in terms of value, but also in terms of: how are they different? How are they not like all the rest?” — David Brier
If a brand wants to sell coffee, they’re entering a highly saturated market. What is going to make me want your coffee more than every other?
- Do you have a smoother taste?
- Do you source your beans from somewhere unique?
- Is your coffee easier to acquire than competitors?
- Does your coffee contain more caffeine than any other?
- Will I look at your coffee and think it is any different than the coffee sitting right next to it?
No? …good luck
“Wait! If I can’t make my coffee stand out. What about lowering the price?”
Avoiding branding mistakes
Lowering the price of a product or service is a common mistake many brands make instead of really trying to focus on differentiation.
David shares some ways to help jumpstart the process and to stay consistent:
- Your brand is about those you serve; not yourself: If you want your brand to survive, your heart has to be in it. Providing a product or service that you don’t believe in will result in you taking whatever you can from the customer rather than brainstorming more ways to provide value to the customer.
- Never stagnate: If you’re not expanding, you’re contracting. Competition will always look for new areas to conquer. If you’re not doing the same, you will lose.
- Lose your entitlement: Your brand’s success is only worth as much as your reaction in times of failure. It’s inevitable that your brand will have pullbacks. If you’re not willing to realize that failure is part of the process and pivot your strategy, your brand will not make it.
”What’s the next move you’re gonna do? If you’re quick to pivot? That’s fine. You’re getting back in the game. You’re in the ring. And bang, bang, you bounce back. You kick it. Boom, boom, boom.” — David Brier
Crafting a brand story and gaining attention
A central way to differentiate your brand is to focus on your brand’s story. But with thousands of competing brands, it’s almost impossible to know how to make your story unique.
Where to start? LinkedIn
Take a brutally honest look at your industry on LinkedIn and you’ll quickly see how steep your industry competition is; but, you’ll also see what cliches to avoid.
Differentiating your brand can be a difficult endeavor; but once you understand its importance to brand success, the feat is a little more manageable. As you look to the future, challenge yourself to see if your product or service has the story it deserves.
This post is based on an episode of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast. Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.
You can find Amber on LinkedIn and on her website, amplifyology.com