merchants

5 Ways to Set Your Brand Apart

When you’re working at a company, it can be easy to know your purpose. But how do you make it easy for your customers to know it? And even more importantly, how do you separate yourself in their eyes from similar companies? At Prizeout, we have over 1,000 merchants in our marketplace, and we’re constantly studying which ones are outperforming others and why. Here are 5 tips we’ve learned along the way.

1. Have a clear brand identity

It’s impossible for your customers to know who you are if you don’t even know who you are. Establishing your brand identity is one of the first steps any business should take when introducing itself to its audience. A brand identity designates what your brand looks like, how it feels, how it speaks… essentially every aspect of how the public sees it. Without an identity, you’ll get lost in the endless sea of bland, indistinguishable businesses.

A brand identity peels the curtain back and allows your audience to see you as more than just a company. By doing this, you’ll be able to make deeper connections with them that will directly affect their willingness to do business with you. Think about some of the biggest brands. Nike, Apple, McDonalds, the list goes on. They all seem like living, breathing organisms when, in reality, they’re still just companies. How do they do it? A strong brand identity.

Your brand identity should also clearly outline your story and mission. Customers should not only know who you are, but what you do and why you do it. Sticking with the example above, Nike believes that anyone with a body is an athlete. Anyone — regardless of their shape, age, and ability — is an athlete. And they’ve built an entire brand around reiterating that idea to encourage everyone to ‘Just Do It.’ Every single product, service, and advertisement is designed with this central mission in mind. When developing your brand identity, think about what your mission is, and make sure every last part of your company accurately reflects it.

2. Be different

A good brand has a distinct voice with a well-thought out personality that flows effortlessly from its content. Customers should be able to look at anything you create and immediately know its yours even if it isn’t branded. With countless businesses in every industry, it’s more important than ever to stand out from the pack.

Let’s think about Nike and Apple again. Each of them has its own distinct flavor that easily identifies it. Whether it’s something as big as a television spot or as small as a social post, you can likely identify one of their advertisements without seeing any branding at all. These identities are so specific that they could not possibly be anyone else. And your brand should stick out in exactly the same way.

3. Make things easier

As you reflect on the whole of your company to find the right identity, also think about exactly how everything works. Look for areas that are complex or may be difficult for your customers to understand. Is there a way to streamline any of these? Points of difficulty may leave a bad taste the mouth of a customer, which could affect your future with them. From the top down, everything should be easy for the customer to understand and use in order for you to build a relationship of trust with them.

4. Strive for transparency

No one likes interacting with someone that seems withholding. It can come off as shady and usually leads to frustration. Especially in the age of the internet, it’s important to always be as transparent as possible. It’s easier than ever for customers to find out when you haven’t been entirely straightforward with them. Even the slightest misstep can lead to poor reviews and discussions across the internet. And when potential customers are researching your business, guess what they’re inevitably going to find. Not such a great first impression.

This obviously applies to any direct customer interaction. Consumers will always want as much information as possible. And while you obviously can’t always tell them everything, you should always strive to let them know as much as you can. It builds trust with them and, in turn, value.

It’s also true in terms of pricing. When a price isn’t clearly advertised or has any hidden fees or stipulations, it can badly damage your reputation with your customers. Enough so that they may never give you another chance. That’s why it’s always crucial to be completely upfront with every customer about their purchase.

5. Emit positivity

Though it sounds easy, it can be extremely difficult to radiate positivity throughout every level of your business. Positive advertisements? Sure. Postive customer service experiences? Maybe a bit more difficult. No matter the circumstances, it’s important to always find the bright side for the customer and lead them toward it. 

This should be exemplified throughout your messaging as well. Maybe a campaign you’ve run hasn’t performed up to expectations. When you report your findings, don’t focus on the failings. Focus on what you were able to learn and how it will help you grow in the future. This will radiate throughout your company and make it easier for employees to stay positive during their occupational experiences.

Put your learnings to the test

As you can tell, it can take a lot of thought and a deep understanding of who your company is. But once you’ve done that, a few small steps is all it takes to truly take your business to the next level. Your customers will be sure to take notice, whether that’s online, in store, or even on the Prizeout platform.

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