Living Your Brand

How close are we too a ‘Blade Runner’ reality? With everywhere you look now an overrun mess of adverts and relentless marketing campaigns, are we really that far off? A world inundated with countless products and services, the real victims are every startup and SME. Imagine a lonesome needle trying to stand out in a haystack.

What most don’t seem to understand is with the various social platforms on offer today, cultivating a brand image has never been easier and can be an absolute bonus to your start-up.

Having a strong brand image does several things:

• It makes your product easily identifiable

• It conveys meaning

• It helps your brand stand out

• It makes people believe in your product

A business’ brand isn’t merely an icon to identify your little venture. A company’s brand is the embodiment of their point of difference. If a business can have its point of difference well developed and defined, then it goes from being a small business to a brighter future with limitless potential. A well established point of difference can bring to life your business and give it personality.

It’s a striking statistic that up to 60% of startups fail in the first two years. If a business doesn’t stand out, but instead fades into the background then its no surprise it wont survive for longer than two years…

Consider the viral marketing campaign by Old Spice. They knew how to shape their brand image leveraging masculinity. It seems that most deodorants are bought by women for their sons, husbands, fathers. They took that information and ran! All their efforts thereafter were directed towards women, and boy did that work!

The ad received over a million YouTube views in just three days, making it a huge hit in the world of viral marketing, and by the time it aired as an actual commercial during an NFL game, it already had a massive legion of fans. The brand has now been established as an accessory for masculinity. They understood their market and killed it! Old Spice aligned their point of difference with a unique selling proposition (USP).

And that’s exactly what your brand needs to do. Your brand needs to become synonymous with the exact image, meaning and lifestyle you’re trying to sell.

Now don't be fooled, a brand isn't limited to a product, many people overlook services and how they can be branded. In the world of business it doesn't matter if you're selling deodorant or mortgage broking. A brand is a brand and there is no excuse for not standing out. You need to know how to leverage a USP and take advantage of the information you have no matter if its a product or service that your business provides.

The age-old saying, knowledge is power. Effectively researching and knowing your market means you can align your brand to your USP. Aligning your brand to your USP means your company wont be the needle in the haystack!

…And one more thing; living your brand means believing in your brand. Your degree of passion and level of commitment to your product or service will determine your success. Make sure your passion and accompanying core values shine through. As ultimately if you don’t 100% back or believe in your brand – then who else will?