Imagine you’re sick and head to the grocery store to pick up some OTC drugs and get some relief. Do you grab Dayquil and Tylenol, or do you go for the off-brand drugs? It is your health after all…so maybe you should stick to the big-name, trusted brands.
What a waste of money. Did you know that doctors and pharmacists actually prefer generic versions of many OTC drugs? Or that the FDA requires that those off-brand drugs be chemically identical to the branded ones?
So go ahead – reach for the Kroger or CVS knock-off. According to Consumer Reports, you could save as much as 73% by buying store brands. If Tylenol is the same exact thing as the CVS acetaminophen…then why do we think of them as any different? Their BRAND.
Kroger brand acetaminophen isn’t familiar at all. It doesn’t have a catchy name, and you’ve definitely never seen an advertisement for it before. But Tylenol? Everyone knows what that is, from your grandmother to an 8-year old kid. It’s the SAME thing, but most consumers prefer to purchase Tylenol.
The same idea goes for cars. What’s the difference between a Cadillac or a Buick? About 15 grand.
See, branding isn’t about the actual value of your product. Of course it’s important to create and offer quality products, but that’s YOUR job, not your brand’s job. Your brand’s job is to elevate the PERCEIVED value of your product. Strong branding is the image and message to your audience that your brand is worth the higher price tag. That it’s different than all the other guy’s product, and that it’s worth your time.
The number one mistake that businesses make with their brands is thinking that they don’t have to be different. THEY DO. No matter what you’re selling, there’s countless people competing for your same niche, audience, and business.
For example, Jimmy John’s doesn’t sell their sandwiches by saying they’re tasty, because everyone does that. That’s boring and expected. They sell them by saying they’re “Freaky Fast”, and that back that statement up with exceptional delivery times.
Our point? Be different or fall behind.
Conveying this to your clients isn’t easy, but it all starts with figuring out what DOES make your brand different. If you don’t have an answer for that off the top of your head, then it’s time to do some soul-searching. Consider every aspect of your business, your products, and your services and try to identify your unique fingerprint. Leave no stone unturned.
An important aspect to consider is a lifestyle component of your brand. Think of Patagonia. They sell products that you could find at REI, but market themselves as an environmentally-friendly company for people who care about the environment. Rather than focusing only your products, consider how your brand can cater to different subcultures and fit into someone’s belief system, values, or way of life.
Of course, branding is way bigger than all of this. We’re just scratching the surface here, but it’s a start. If you need help or have questions, comment below or contact us direct at (248) 579-9972.