Brand Preview 2019: What makes you different

If you want to make the most of 2019, you need to tell your audience what makes you different. You need to stand out. The environment you’re doing business in is noisy and busy, and that’s not going to change. If you want your target audience to pay attention to your business, and the products or services you’re offering, you need to give them a good reason.

The challenges in 2019

There are always challenges and opportunities in business, but each year provides a unique set of circumstances that frame them. The ability of a business to adapt to these circumstances will determine whether 2019 is considered a success. Many factors will influence how well each business responds, but the importance of your brand – your ability to communicate effectively – shouldn’t be overlooked.

In a series of posts, I’ve identified three key issues to consider. The first is understanding what makes you different. This isn’t about introducing a gimmick to grab attention. It’s about identifying, and communicating, some aspect of your business that genuinely makes you different.

Make your business relevant

With so much uncertainty in the economy as we enter the new year, confidence – amongst businesses and consumers – will be weak. With such a gloomy forecast it’s unlikely that your customers are going to be eager to spend.

In these conditions, you need to make your business relevant to your target audience. If your customers are struggling to make a decision, you need to help them. You need to begin by standing out from the crowd. What DOES make you different? This isn’t about the colour of your logo, the cost of your products or the range of services you can provide. This is about understanding how you improve the life of your customers – whether that’s at home, or in the workplace.

Your customers need to believe that you will give them something that they won’t get from your competitors. This could be a better price or a greater range, but these are things that your competitors could copy. To truly differentiate yourself from your competitors you want to try and find something you can “own” – something fundamental to the way you do business that sets you apart.

Learn from John Lewis

In September John Lewis unveiled a rebrand – a new logo and a new name: John Lewis and Partners. The rebrand is focused on a new proposition – “For us, it’s personal”. John Lewis have taken what makes them different, and put it at the heart of their brand and their communication.

As an employee-owned company, their business model sets them apart from their High Street competitors. And while their online rivals might boast clever algorithms and sophisticated AI, they can’t offer the human interaction of the customer experience at John Lewis and Partners. In a highly competitive market John Lewis and Partners have taken the opportunity to focus the attention on what makes them different, and how that benefits customers.

What should you do?

If you want to succeed in 2019, you will need to do the same. Sometimes it can be hard to see what that is that sets you apart, but there is always something. Like John Lewis and Partners, it could be your team, and the skill and experience they have to share. It could be the quality of the products you sell or the services you deliver. It could be the fact that you’re local. Whatever it is, you just need to find it, then share it with your target audience.

Your visual identity provides all the tools you need to do this. It will have the colours, images and words you need to be distinctive and memorable. Whether you’re sharing your message in print, in person or online, you need to be sure that it tells your audience what makes you different. That will give you a competitive advantage in 2019.


Get in touch
If you would like to know how to make the best use of your brand in 2019, drop us an email. It would be great to hear from you!

This is one part of our Brand Preview 2019. You can read the others here:
2: Make good use of your data.
3. Make it personal.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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  1. Pingback: Brand Oreview 2019: Customer experience - make it personal

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