It has never been easier for a brand to put itself out there, connect directly with talent, clients, buyers and other stakeholders; let the world know what they do, stand for, promise and deliver. The downside, however, is that there is a LOT of noise out there …
Best way to break through the noise: LEADERSHIP
Why you ask? Because leaders cultivate trust. People are looking for a guide to follow while navigating the mass of information and choices available and help determine what to believe and what not. People need a beacon that shows them the way to—and through—unchartered territories to move forward. Think of your brand as a leader that people grow to trust, and your brand will be the one that makes a difference in their lives.
There are three key ingredients to position yourself as a trusted leader in your field: diversification, thought leadership, and authentic communications.
Questions to address when building a more diversified brand:
– What do you excel at (internal viewpoint)?
– What do you want to be known for (external viewpoint)?
– What are you the absolute best at, in comparison to your competitors (context)?
Thought leadership only works when it is effective, and it can only be effective when relevant. No matter how remarkable the ideas your brand would like to communicate, if people don’t care about them you will never be their leader.
Questions to address when developing thought leadership:
– Who are you speaking to? Who is your target audience? Be specific.
– What is your target audience trying to accomplish? Can you help them get there? Do they have a problem that you can solve, or can you steer them in the right direction?
Let your audience know you “get them” by providing the content and the information they are looking for. Use their language, use their vocabulary, make them believe they have found an ally before they have even met you.
Be genuine, be honest and deliver your message YOUR way. Of course, you have to be aware of industry best practice and competitor’s voices. Yet, within the realm of written and unwritten rules, carve out your niche and make it yours.
Main question to address: what is the number one essential quality of your brand that is so uniquely yours that no one else can copy it?
A great way to think about this is in terms of personality (see previous post): if your brand was a person, how would you describe this person? It would be good to establish 3-4 main brand characteristics that reflect your brand personification to create a communication filter. All messages should fall within for consistency purposes.
When positioning your brand as a leader in your field focus on building trust through relevant thought leadership; concentrating on what you do best (diversification); and genuine, honest communications that consistently show your authentic personality. Neither strategy is looking to win the popular vote per se, but rather assist you to allocate resources where they matter most so you can become the trusted leader with the biggest ROI.