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What gives your brand edge over your competitors?

What gives your brand edge over your competitors?

What are the 5 vital ingredients for a brand to get winning results? What gives your brand the edge over competitors and makes them stand the test of time?

These days, it is more important than ever that brands are top of mind. We all have less time and more choice, so it is crucial to create a product or service that leaves a memorable impression. How do you go about this? Look at your brand and ask yourself the following questions:

What’s your why?

Firstly, you need to know your brand’s reason for being. Are you offering something unique, appealing and different to other brands? Consumers are much more likely to engage with the brands that they find interesting or that do something a bit different. Try to break the sector rules, create a buzz and get your customers telling their friends about you. Take the Ocado brand, the first grocery delivery company that revolutionised the way we shop today. Years later, someone had a simple idea, what if you could request a taxi from your phone? What began as just a thought quickly grew into a global brand, Uber. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most successful.

Are you building brand consistency?

Brand consistency creates, recognition, clarity and purpose for the consumer, which in turn create brand loyalty. If consistency is not used then it is possible that the consumer could become confused and even mistake one brand for another, giving the other company the credit. So a distinctive, consistent brand is essential. 

A clear, consistent brand promotes trust, respect and credibility. Be clear about your values and how you deliver them across all aspects of your business; from your visual style, messaging and tone of voice, through to the way you interact with your staff and your customers.

Of course, brand consistency goes further than just how your brand looks. It’s important that you can live up to your brand’s edge. How many times have you bought into a brand only to be let down by awful customer service? 

Do you value your relationships?

This works on several levels, by building solid relationships with your customers, suppliers and staff alike, you are strengthening your brand and ensuring its success. Successful brands get to know their target audience and engage with them on a personal level. We all find something that appeals to us, something that makes us feel good – you need to find this soft spot. That’s a brands edge. Make sure your vision is clear to both suppliers and staff, being transparent creates great relationships.

Do you have a healthy internal culture?

It’s important also that the brand is delivered consistently internally. Your staff are your biggest asset and also advocators or your brand and the products you sell. If they feel good about the company they are more likely to recommend. The brand Virgin is an example of a company that is known to look after its employees – Richard Branston believes that you can create a great place to work by taking care of your people. He believes that your employees will directly impact the outcome of your business. More and more companies are seeing now the benefits of looking after the well-being of their staff it’s no longer a nice to have but a must. Long term, your employee satisfaction will improve customer experience and deliver the best service and results possible.

Is your brand edge still relevant?

It’s becoming increasingly important to remain relevant to your target market. With new technology and trend influencing everything we do, a brand’s edge can quickly change thanks to social media or trends. Customers need to feel emotionally connected to a brand. A brand that was highly successful 10 years ago could be quickly overturned by a more innovative, relevant brand that really understands and preempts their customers’ needs and beliefs. In recent years, Veganuary has inspired more than half a million people globally to try being vegan in January. As a retailer, this is hard to ignore, so shops and restaurants have had to respond to this relatively new demand through the products available and highlighting them to customers.

We couldn’t talk about brand relevance without mentioning Apple, arguably the most relevant technology brand in the world. They have been successful by thinking several years ahead and anticipating what their customers will want in the future. They have done this through innovative technology, beautiful product design, groundbreaking retail environments where you don’t take your product to a till they come to you. Apple customers are extremely loyal but maybe because they are kept on their toes, always anticipating the next innovation? In summary, for brand success ­– know your brand’s edge, purpose, and always be consistent. understand your customers’ needs and what motivates them and last but definitely not least, look after your employees, they are the biggest advocates for your brand.

Malcolm Gilbertson

Malcolm Gilbertson

Creative & Managing Director of Silverback Studios
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