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  • 1. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Best Practice Guides Stand Out How To Stand Out From The Crowd
  • 2. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Introduction This guide looks at how to stand out from the crowd. We’ll explore what a brand means, how it’s critical to Welcome to our best practice guide where we your success and why you need to unearth the myths, secrets and areas for you to action to build a successful brand. engage with your audiences. Our best practice guides are a series of publications aimed at helping you attract and engage prospects and customers. We’ll cover areas from brand to social media, but in a way for you to digest and hopefully put into practice. This guide looks at how to stand out from the crowd. We’ll explore what a brand means, how it’s critical to your success, why you need to engage with your audiences and some key tactics to be seen and heard. In a world of ‘me too’ businesses, lets strive to be the authority in our sectors. The ID Group team
  • 3. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Section 1 WHY DO WE NEED TO BRAND?
  • 4. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd What Is A Brand All About?? The process of creating a brand is a mix of creativity, energy and standing behind everything that you believe. Brands are more than just logos or strap-lines, it allows people to recognise and familiarise themselves with your company. A brand is so much bigger than just a logo. It is how you are seen and how you present yourself to the “ A brand is much bigger than a logo. It is how you are seen and world from a phone conversation to an email, to the website. Create a brand how you present yourself to that is not only memorable but also successful. the world. “ Approach branding as the reputation of your organisation and make sure your company messages are reflected effectively. Without a brand, companies become lost amongst the crowd. Make sure to stand out from your competition and possess a USP setting you apart from other organisations in the same market. The more attention you are able to draw to your company through branding, the more your business will grow in a positive light.
  • 5. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Do You Brand Or Market?? Businesses tend to mention branding with marketing and advertising in the same breath, which is just not the case.  A brand is an overall image of a product/service that consumers are able to connect with, make an emotional attachment to and interpret. They are able “ Ore pelia velent, ut quat.Ratquas to identify with a name, logo, strap-line and style. quia doluptaque same vendaecaero ipsunt reste quis endaepe rspiendi Branding is different from other communication methods because marketing delibea riorum nist pratusam quunt focuses on a message and keeping consumers connected, whereas the brand dolorios doluptasimi, ulpa sinullor itself is the image and perception which must stand alone in order to be aut as maximol uptatur? effective, credible and to stand out against competition. “ Branding can only be effective and successful if it is executed correctly and consistently. Think about your logo and what it represents (as it highlights everything you stand for). Be clear of what values your company and brand identifies within its messages. Above all else, create a personal connection through your brand for customers to engage with.
  • 6. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Section 2 KEY AREAS THAT ARE CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS
  • 7. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Positioning Yourself Is The Key To Success One thing we all aspire to is to create a business where people will be If you position yourself well, you create a strong rapport, and when banging on the door to work with you. you educate others you build advocacy. The simple answer is… position yourself. Being positioned as the ‘respected’ choice within your industry is powerful. We can overcomplicate things to the nth degree, but no It is that simple, if you engage with people and spread emotion, it matter the state of the economic environment, emotion always sells. becomes easier to build a business. For instance, if your messages are constantly dictating a sales pitch on Twitter, people tend to switch off. Spread content that has a human feel to it, or is intended to help others, a purely commercial message is less spread. If you position yourself as the logical choice, then people will listen. Do this in three ways: Provide an education that helps your prospect become interested Deliver useful information to put you in the mind of your prospect as more of an expert than your competition Plan and think strategically to sell your product/service that isn’t selling and far stronger than a flat out ‘this is what we do.’
  • 8. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Never Build Your Brand On Hope There are more ways than ever before to broadcast your marketing Here’s an analogy that brings this principal to when we were all messages and present your brands, but so many companies look to build younger. Remember the 2p slot machines (we still have plenty of their castles purely on hope alone. them in Bournemouth) and when you put the coin at the top, it could only go two ways. It can hit another coin and trigger a host of others Take for instance, your Twitter feed. Amongst the stream of conscious to result in a noise of a return that would always put a smile on your messages that form part of our daily lives, we are also bombarded with face, or it can sit on it’s own and get lost amongst the crowd of other dictated messages to interrupt and gain our focus and attention. coins and no smile on your face, just a relentless pursuit of more return for the money spent. This is similar to the old way of marketing where you would spread your message in as many ways as possible, from outdoor advertising to press Most marketing efforts are like this, where a message is put out there ads to radio exposure, in the blind hope that people would react and in the hope that there is an expected reaction to hit as many people notice it. Simply building awareness, is not the aim, the key is to build as you can. Every single message you create has to be targeted to conversation, credibility and trust. your audience. When you try to hit everyone, the impact is small, but if you’re focused and target the right audience, you create value and By being focused on a target market, with a specific message to that a guaranteed return on your investment, a bit like those afternoons in industry, you don’t simply want them to be aware of you, you want them the arcade. to be responsive to you. They want to feel that they are being spoken to, directly to them, not at them.
  • 9. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd The key to all formats of engagement is communication, so build an Don’t Market, Engage effective dialogue: iving information. This could be in the form of directing to a blog G on a particular topic or providing a report on an area of interest within your industry. The better information that is provided and Does a bulk of ‘likes’ on Facebook or a large number of followers on more relevance it has to a prospect, the better the opportunity to Twitter result as an effective marketing strategy? Shouldn’t we focus convert to a customer. direction where we are not in the business of marketing, but engaging with an audience? ontinuity. Everything that is sent to represent your business C has to have consistency throughout ie. there is a connection Do more than just telling everyone ‘how good it is’ and having links to a between the webmail that is sent out and the message it relates specific page on your website, it is detrimental to a brand and people to. Continuity in your brand and communications is key to building will switch off immediately. The focus should be on developing a two- familiarity and credibility. way dialogue between brands and the customers they serve. Build partnerships, not just leads. row your community. Sharing knowledge within a community G builds loyalty and keeps a conversation constant. To do this, When brands put priority on engagement, this moves from one-way compelling content needs to be created and maintained in order traffic of ‘followers’ as passive receivers of messages to one where to build collaboration, e.g. commit to a printed newsletter to share there is interaction, participation with the aim to build a dialogue and with your customers. customers to become advocates ie. share their experiences. estimonials. Reading someone else recommending your product, T rather than yourself is an effective way to turn prospects into customers and customers into advocates. Online and offline engagement delivers benefits for all. The more engaged a company is with its marketplace, the more the marketplace sees the company as the expert within their field and ‘the place to go to.’ This results in greater customer loyalty, better new customer conversion rates and enhanced revenue. Set realistic goals and stick to them and remember to maintain a flow of communication.
  • 10. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Section 3 WHAT YOU NEED TO CONTINUALLY ASK YOURSELF
  • 11. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT? We’re all bombarded from more channels than ever before to grab our attention. So, what makes you different? “ Most products or services that are out there just form part of a The key to standing out is to make people’s lives easier. landscape that is full of ‘me too’s. “ It has now become more commonplace to blend in with everyone else, most products or services that are out there just form part of a landscape that is full of ‘me too’s’. Couple that with a world where attention spans are now very short, it becomes a challenge to identify what makes you and your product different.
  • 12. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd Here’s an example to show you how important it is to stand out. The success to being a thought leader is to cut a cake in half. The first Friday nights can mean an empty fridge and searching for something half is to have a multi channel approach and the second half is when to have for dinner. The answer is within the realms of Marks you engage with your audience, it is a two-way communication where Spencer’s ‘Dine In For 2, For £10.’ What this is, is effectively ready added value is key. What this leaves is a cake that people will go for meals to heat up in the oven (with a bottle of wine), but packaged time and time again, no matter how much icing is on the others. in a way that it felt a bit of a treat. This is what I mean by avoiding being a ‘me too’ product (a ready meal), by doing something different (packaging up as ‘fine cuisine’). Coming back to our products and services that strive for attention in our marketplaces, the key is to provide a benefit that solves problems for others and position it in a way that others/prospects take notice, with the knock on effect to know, trust and like us. “ What makes you stand out is What makes you stand out is to provide a service that people to provide a service that people care about and instead of blending in with everyone else, go in care about. Instead of blending the opposite direction. If you provide people with a reason to pay in with everyone else, go in the attention, they will listen. opposite direction. “ To be known as the expert, bring all your communication tools together to spread your message in a variety of ways, namely the use of blogs to get your view across, the social media channels to tease and invite, the relationships with the press to inform (not self congratulate), to loving your immediate customers/community by treating them as the VIPs with a small number of printed regular newsletters.
  • 13. Best Practice Guides How To Stand Out From The Crowd 5 A blog becomes a really effective tool when it is promoted through a number of channels, notably the social media networks and links 10 W To Be Seen Heard ays included on each email signature. Blogs are a great format to voice an opinion, comment and gain recognition within your industry. 6 Networking is important to build your business community. Making new connections and meeting new people can lead to There are a number of channels that can be used to present yourself positive referrals from clients to prospects. It can also allow you to different audiences by being consistent and having continuous brand to contribute, learn or share ideas with other people in similar/ exposure. Here are a few things to help. different industries. Networking can also lead to partnerships and joint ventures for companies, so be confident and get your1 Twitter is an effective networking tool to share, comment and be voice heard. consistent within your industry. The essence of Twitter is to have a voice within your community by posting good tweets, retweets and interactions 7 Communication is essential for building and maintaining strong with other businesses. relationships with existing and prospective clients. This will build your business and your company’s credibility.2 Video content is a way of ‘seeing.’ This gives an insight into the heart of a company and shows how they present themselves and interact. This is a 8 Website really effective way to share via social media and to targeted audiences. People don’t like copy heavy websites, it is not interactive and there’s too much to focus on. Concentrate on getting your3 Business cards are one of the most traditional formats to present a message/company goals across to audiences, so keep it simple. company’s identity. However, why not be more innovative? Treat it as more than a card and offer more. For instance, is there an offer you can 9 Social Media is evolving, so keep people updated with latest news promote? Are there aspects of the business that you want people to of your company via Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Pinterest. Keep know more about? Are there more ways you present your business on audiences engaged. your card, i.e. links for twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, blogs. 10 Cold Calling4 A personalised letter is an ideal way for targeting prospects. Move away It may not everyone’s cup of tea, but by having a leap of faith from the conventional email and take time to write to someone. Use good cold calling can be effective to your business. Don’t be afraid if a quality paper, add something to your envelope i.e. a puzzle, present. The customer does pick up the phone and says ‘no’. Persevere because idea is to be more engaging than just a written email. there are people that need your help.
  • 14. Best Practice GuidesStand Out We hope our best practice guide provides interesting routes for you to explore in more detail. If there is anything here that you’d like to have a conversation about, just get in touch. We’d love to find out more about you. We’re here to help deliver a consistent message and position you as the ‘go to’ person. Email: Tel: 01202 557 458 Web: Blog: Twitter: @heyidgroup Facebook: /heyidgroup Lorne Park House, 1 Lorne Park Rd, Bournemouth, BH1 1JJ