9 Tips to Elevate Your Brand in an Oversaturated Market
This post was edited from its original dated January 30, 2018
(5 min read)
Whether it’s tech, craft beer, advanced manufacturing, energy, or cannabis-infused products, according to a 2018 US News report Colorado has seen substantial growth across many industries, which is why as of January 2018, it was ranked as having the best economy of any state. (1)
As you would expect, Colorado’s high-performing economy also means there is major competition. Specifically, Colorado has 348 breweries, the highest number in the nation per capita. In a highly competitive market like this one, branding and relevant communication are critical tools for staying fresh or becoming an industry leader in an oversaturated market.
We know the struggles of trying to reach new customers and consumers well— We are also a small business. Other than having the most fantastic product that has ever existed and once experienced, naturally sells itself, you are going to need a little help. Luckily, we’re here to give you some tried and true tips that will help set your brand apart in an oversaturated market.
1. Find Your Niche
Before taking out that business loan and opening up shop, consider what makes your product worth selling. After giving that some careful thought, create a Mission Statement outlining what sets your business apart as well as your goals. Business-wise, how will your product disrupt its industry and stand on its own? Socially, how will your business make an impact in your community? More and more, businesses are using social causes in order to make their businesses stand out.
Are you a brewery that will concentrate on brewing sour beers only, and gives 1% of its sales back to a local homeless shelter? Or, maybe you have a new SaaS mobile application that fills a special need that users never knew they had. Whatever the case, your first and the most important step is to realize your niche.
2. Add Value
Value isn’t just about money. What emotional connection will your product or service have with your customers? What unique feature or selling-point does your product or service provide your customers? When customers interact with your product it should make them feel warm and fuzzy on the inside; This will reinforce advocacy– and who doesn’t like a little free social publicity? Your product or service should also make them feel that they are getting it for the amount it cost them– both financially and emotionally; This will play an essential role in your pricing and sales strategies. Consider what your ideal customer thinks is a valuable experience to have with your brand.
3. Hack the Industry
Easier said than done, but one of your first steps in deciding how to differentiate your business should be to analyze the marketplace What problems need to be solved within the industry and how can your product be a solution? How can you leverage your experience to become an influencer in your field?
4. When In Doubt, Steal.
Ok, please don’t go out and rob your competitors, but do take note of what’s working (and what’s not). What are your top competitors doing right, and what are they doing wrong? What kind of marketing strategies are they using? Where do you (and other people) see them? Is there an untapped marketing channel that you know your audience uses? These answers will help you to define a marketing strategy further, which is particularly important as a new startup or small business when it is vital to try and focus initial marketing spend on channels that will prove worthy by driving revenue growth, which leads me to my next point…
Be smart about your marketing spend. We know the importance of tracking success metrics including Return-on-Investment (ROI) to ensure you are and will continue to spend wisely, especially for startups. Always start with research and testing. Tailor your success metrics in your analytics platform, which are not ready for users out-of-the-box on platforms like Google Analytics (Surprise!). Personalize messages whenever possible and try to start a conversation with prospects and clients. Know your audience, where they live (figuratively speaking of course), how they search for options, and how they prefer to communicate.
When in doubt, call an expert. The right agency will have a wealth of knowledge and experience to quickly expand your company’s bandwidth so that you can concentrate on running the business.
Aside from your actual product, this is perhaps the most critical element to make your company stand out. Great, strategic branding provides your business with a bright, distinctive, consistent, and relevant identity while differentiating you from any other option. Don’t shortcut the value of your brand.
7. Customer Service
Perhaps the most natural and least expensive marketing tool is providing excellent customer service. Many companies are doing this today by actively running a customer-centric, social media program. While the ‘Customer Is Always Right’ mentality can be quite annoying to hear at times, consistently providing great customer service can elevate your brand in a sea of lookalikes.
Customer Service goes further than just issuing refunds and replying to Yelp reviews; Your company’s ethos should shine through to customers and employees alike in every facet of your business. Did your mission statement include adding value to your customer’s (and employees) lives? Prove it. Speak up and your community will take notice.
8. Stay Relevant
Stay on top of trends, but don’t pander. Customers can see right through an egregious attempt at cashing in on the latest trend. This point goes back to doing your research. Are your customers primarily on Instagram? Then great; start sharing! If not, concentrate your time and budget on other marketing channels that you know will provide a higher ROI; If you don’t know how or where to start, ask an expert for help.
9. Be Agile
Be nimble, go with the flow, always be learning, try new things, don’t stagnate!