4 Ways Your Branding Can Break The Mould

When you started out running your own business, you had a clear focus on what you wanted. You wanted to do things your way. You’d seen first hand the impact that poor strategic decision making and rampant operational inefficiencies had on your previous employers. You had worked under one too many clueless middle management types and relentless micromanagers. You may even have seen the inequities and inequalities that are still unfortunately rampant in the world of work today.

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You wanted to do better. You wanted to show the world that business could be better. Fairer. More efficient. More ethical. Your brand was going to change the world. But over time you became so swamped in the day to day operational aspects of running your business that you suddenly barely had a thought to spare for branding. As every day became a struggle to get by, your brand has become a secondary consideration.

But deep down you know that without a strong brand behind you, you can’t hope to achieve the market domination that you deserve.

Is branding really that important?

Not only is branding incredibly important now, it’s only going to get more important in the coming years. The millennial generation is the most fiercely brand loyal generation of consumers yet, with over 50% claiming “extreme loyalty” to their favourite consumer brands. As this generation takes up more and more of a proportion of your consumer base, you need to ensure that your branding is on point for your business to have a hope of long term sustainability.

Your brand is, to quote Jeff Bezos “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”. It attracts new prospects to your business even as it rallies and motivates your workforce. If your branding doesn’t resonate with your target audience (or worse still, if they don’t even notice you) your business risks fading into obscurity.

But in an era where consumers have so many brands competing for their attention every minute of every day, your branding needs to be able to break the mould, defy convention and make a strong statement. Which can be a battle that’s fought on many fronts. Here are some great ways in which your branding can break the mould.

Create campaigns that defy convention (or even poke a little harmless fun at it)

Today’s consumers are extremely savvy when it comes to the conventions of marketing and branding. Even if they can’t articulate how they’re doing it they can decode marketing media with incredible surety, identifying tropes in advertising as easily as they can identify tropes in cinematic genres.

With that in mind, consider playfully defying convention in your next marketing campaign. Maybe even poking a little fun at the semiotic language with which products like yours are usually advertised. If your marketing makes consumers think, makes them laugh or helps them to see that you know-how savvy and intelligent they are, you stand a great chance of connecting with them. It worked for the sanitaryware brand Kimberly Clark a few years back, and it can work for you too!

Invest in a better quality of branded freebie to make a big splash at trade shows

Trade shows are a great opportunity to meet with people within your industry and make yourself known to consumers with a vested interest in your chosen field. They’re a great opportunity for speaking and thought leadership, as well as a fantastic way to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into talking to people and showing them your passion and sincerity.

More importantly, however, they’re a great opportunity to give away cool stuff and help your brand to make an amazing first impression. Branded freebies and promotional items really work because they’re useful to the recipient, they make them think of your brand and they help to build positive associations. Best of all, when recipients are done with them, they pass them on rather than throwing them away, giving you another opportunity to make an impression.

But why attach your brand to old hat items like t-shirts, mugs and… hats? Why not attach your logo to something of real quality like lapel pins, key rings and badges by Master Cast? Or something that’s both useful and sustainable like a bamboo flash drive? Clever, novel and high quality branded promotional goods can make a huge impression and help your brand to stand out.

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Wear your Corporate Social Responsibility on your sleeve

Corporate Social Responsibility is more important than ever in the 2020s. Consumers have begun to demand a better standard of capitalism, and almost 75% of younger consumers are happy to pay more for it. It’s up to you to ensure that your branding reflects your green and ethical credentials.

Show consumers that your products are made from ethically sourced materials and that the people who make them get a fair wage. Demonstrate your commitment to reducing your waste, carbon and energy footprint. Show them how much you value your employees and shine a spotlight on them in your content marketing and social feeds. Brands of all shapes and sizes can win over ethically-conscious consumers if they demonstrate their social responsibility.

Think outside the box in your content marketing

Finally, we all know that content marketing is essential. It’s an important way of giving your brand a voice and a personality of its own and helping consumers to build a personal relationship with your business. We also know that your content needs to be useful to the reader or viewer if it’s to get the kind of engagement it deserves.

But with so many brands out there trying to make their voices heard with content, how can you get their attention? Maybe it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to your content.

Don’t be afraid to show them your sense of humour. You might even want to get a little weird. In an age where consumers have so much content waved in front of their faces every day, you simply can’t afford for yours to be dry.

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