Stand Out or Stand Still – 3 Tips to Strengthen Your Brand

What is Branding?

Branding is all about creating differences and managing perceptions. To brand a product or service, we must teach consumers “who” the product/service is – by giving it a name and using other brand elements to help identity it – as well as “what” the product does and “why”consumers should care.

Tip Number 1 – Same Same But Different

When positioning a product on the market place, the business owner needs to ensure that this brand or product is considered an equal partner with other major brands in the same category (we call this points of parity – POP) but at the same time, this brand or product must also stand out by means of having unique or different attributes (we call this points of differentiation – POD). This is particularly important for new brands. Consumers need clarity, not confusion – if they cannot understand where you fit, they cannot make a decision.

A perfect balance must be found at the end result of positioning, as this is what ensures market success. A brand cannot have too many similarities otherwise there’s nothing to make it stand out. It becomes a copy-cat with no difference. On the other side of the spectrum, being too different and not having any kind of similarities with other products of its same category, and the company is on the risk of not meeting the core necessity of its target market. A good example is Starbucks versus Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – same same but different.

Tip Number 2 – Have A Personality

Most people do not want to hang out with a boring person. The same reason applies to brands. Brand personality is defined as the human characteristics or traits that can be attributed to a brand. Based on research, brand personality has the power of impacting buyer decision (Think Apple). When crafting a personality for your brand, be focused and specific. Personalities in brands, just like in people, attract certain types of people. Trying to appeal to everybody should be avoided. Some of the more distinctive brand personalities succeed because they don’t try to be all things to all people.

To think about what personality traits to give to your brand, here are some questions to guide you:

  1. If your brand is person, is she a female or male, or gender free? Why?
  2. If your brand is a person, what hobbies would he/or has? Why?
  3. If your brand is a colour, what colour would it be? Why?

Tip Number 3 – Develop a Multi-Sensory Experience

Sensory experience involves the five senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight. When all five are carefully combined and designed, we term this is as Multi-sensory branding. According to an article in The Guardian, there’s more and more evidence that a multi-sensory experience works. Way back in 1982, it was found that slow music increased spend in supermarkets by 39.2% – since then, Nike has found introducing scent into their stores increased intention to purchase by 80%.

Here are recent examples:

  • Heston Blumenthal who owns the three Michelin stars,restaurant The Fat Duck’s incorporate music in their famous Sound of the Sea dish. Diners wear iPods that played waves sounds while they consumed succulent seafood, to enhance the overall flavour experience.
  • Decatur First Bank in Georgia prepared and distributed popcorn at its branches to signal a welcoming feeling to its customers.
  • Ion Orchard a fashion forward shopping mall in Singapore which opened in 2009, commissioned a signature scent using 20 notes from herbs, fruits and flowers such as white tea and peony. Its scent has become part of its brand identity and was so well recognised that the mall decided to infuse it into votive candles and a cocktail as part of its fifth anniversary celebrations in 2014.

So if you want your brand to shine brighter, stand out by implementing the above 3 tips!