How easy is it for your target audience to tell you apart from your closest competitors – what about those closet competitors that pup up out of nowhere like Daisies?
If it’s not exactly easy for someone to tell you apart from a competitor offer then it’s probably a good time to revisit your brand image. When it comes to marketing your personal or corporate brand (we’ll call it your professional brand) that differentiation is extremely important, especially if you want a better long-term position for your brand.
Originality is vital to improving your professional brand on the web.
Regardless of whether you’re trying to reach deeper into your target market to reach more consumers or trying to outshine people within your career track, differentiation plays a major role in branding. Competitive advantage has a profound impact on the minds of your target audience. Rest assured then when people are searching for information on you or your business they are more than likely researching other brands as well.
Your professional brand should position you as top dog over your competitors. So how do you do that?
Evaluate Your Professional Branding Message Vs. That of your Competitors
You need to take the time to do a competitive analysis. This should be at the heart of branding for individuals as well as businesses. If you understand your market, then you know what they need to hear. You’ll also clearly understand what your competitors are telling the people that you’re marketing to. You can position your professional brand to say something different, something stronger, something far more relevant, etc.
At least one of your competitors is going to make promises that resonate strongly with your target audience. Make your audience see things through your eyes, and the benefits of your perspective.
Embrace What Makes You Unique
Even the minutest details that make you different should be leveraged when you’re refining your professional brand to create a better image than your competitors. You must discover the principal benefit you offer that is uniquely valuable to your audience – then leverage to give you the competitive advantage.
If you have a hard time defining what makes you different, then do a SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This process will force you to honestly assess who you are and will reveal current strengths to leverage. Likewise if you find an opportunity or weakness that can be modified to create a unique selling point for your professional brand then you can hit the ground running to stand apart from your competition.
Keep Your Promise
Differentiation and consistency is key with professional branding among your target audience. With that said, successful branding -whether through a global marketing campaign or strategic positioning of branding profiles online – has everything to do with the satisfaction of the people who interact with you.
Satisfaction with that brand interaction builds loyalty and credibility which will solidify your professional brand online. As long as you sustain your ability to differentiate your brand from competitors and meet expectations your brand will continue to grow.
Nothing can cost you followers or customers more than a complete disconnect between the promises made by your brand and what you actually deliver.