In a world where every company is vying for attention, it is not always easy to drown out the competition and have your company’s voice heard above all the rest. How, then, can you brand your company so that it is not only different from your competition but also unique enough to capture people’s attention long-term? While having a beautiful website and a fantastic logo are part of the multi-step branding process, your business must go one step further in order to have arecognizable brand that people will loyally follow. So what are your next steps?
Tell a Story Worth Hearing
If you were to hear someone say “Spider-Man,” there is a very strong chance that your mind will instantly conjure up an image of the Marvel superhero clad in a red suit climbing up a wall. There is a reason why superheroes stick in our memories. Companies like Marvel Comics build their brand reputation on the unique, compelling, and relatable background stories of their superhero characters. Words grip the imagination, and when they are crafted together into a story, they can be one of the most powerful tools in your branding arsenal.
Very much like superheroes, every company has an origin story – why it came to life, what its central purpose is, and how this shaped your work and product. So ask yourself this: what is your company story? Maybe yours is telling the time when you and a fellow co-conspirator were in your dark and dinky basement, where both of you began dreaming of starting a business that will change the world as we know it, one product at a time. Maybe yours is focused on how your business started as a seed of an idea that you’ve watered and cared for since you were a teenager, and you have now grown it into what it is now. Maybe yours is as simple as having a goal and wanting it so much that you have tenaciously pursued it to make it happen.
The point is this: you must identify what your origin story is and tell it in such a way that you render yourself unforgettable. It is not enough merely to state your mission and your goals in a detached manner; facts do not capture people’s attentions for very long. People like stories, especially stories they can relate to on a personal level. Storytelling then has two effects: it allows your audience not only to connect with your company but also to unite them under one central purpose. They are not just buying your product; they are buying the meaning associated with your product, and if they like the meaning enough, they will be more likely to become repeat customers.
Be a Company Worth Following
There is a high chance that your company is not the only company that provides the services that you do. Therefore, in order to distinguish your company over others, you need to have a company culture that accurately, genuinely, and consistently reflects your brand. Having a well-defined brand culture entails defining the values that matter most to your company.
Think of your company as a persona, with distinctive characteristics and mannerisms that make it up. Are you defining your company as serious and straightforward or funny and creative? Do you value passion, innovation, or perseverance? Asking these questions is integral to establishing your brand identity.
Once you have identified the values that matter to your company, it’s not enough just to have them. Every single person in your company, from your CEO to your intern, must embody that identity in every message they release to the public, in every communication they have with a client, and even in every interaction they have with each other. By institutionalizing your culture, your brand will strengthen internally and consequently be conveyed outwardly.
Remember that an effective marketing strategy isn’t a one-hit wonder; it’s a mindset. Creating a compelling story of your company’s origins and embodying your company culture are steps in the right direction to building a strong, unified brand that people will gladly support.