You may have seen the marketing approaches of many businesses change in recent years. Now, with apps like TikTok, and a new younger generation to serve, many apps are loosening some of the social restraints they may have had in the past, and now use humor, zaniness, and even out-there rudeness to gain attention. You need only look at the trend of ‘clapping back’ on Twitter some brands seemed to find success in to see how much the landscape has changed.
Of course, this won’t work for all businesses, nor should it. A good example of forward change, for instance, is inclusivity and serving all markets. In the UK, for instance, more and more companies use regional accents in their marketing material rather than the ‘default’ standardized London pronunciation, which might seem small, but it is a big shift in how people are served.
So, using this former example as something of a ‘this won’t fit everybody’ warning, and the latter example as a smart means of outreach, how might you make your business stand out without overdoing it? In this post, we’ll discuss all of that and more:
Excellent Merchandise, Different To The Rest
Merchandising is an excellent means of expressing your value and really showcasing what you have to offer, but it’s not always easy to implement. Many of us know that businesses tend to be quite gung-ho about diving into merchandise such as t-shirts, caps and keychains, or other staples.
There’s nothing wrong with this of course, it’s just that it’s fairly rote and expected. It might be that you have the chance to develop something a little more in line with your business value. For example, these Dynamic Gift pet products could potentially work for a business hoping to brand and promote their wares for pet owners.
You don’t have to solely be a dog food manufacturer in order to benefit from this. It might be that as part of your fitting of doors with doggy or cat flaps, you’ll throw in a merchandise item should someone select this service. It’s little touches like this that make a difference, and also differentiate your brand from the others quite seamlessly.
Transparency Regarding Internal Processes & People
It’s also good to plan for transparency, showing that as a firm, you have nothing to hide, and everything to gain by connecting with your consumers in the best possible way.
For example, you might post regular ‘meet the team’ videos where you showcase what everyone does and how they contribute to your brand, provided they’re happy to be on camera. You may also write reports detailing how you improved your sustainability metrics this year, and also how you hope to improve them next year.
You can use your website as a hub for this transparency, and the gateway or window to look into your firm and its excited plans. This not only shows your ethical approach to business, but includes your potential customers in the worthwhile development of your brand. You’d be amazed at how much people can appreciate this, and of course, curating a website in that fashion can help them not solely rely on your social media for everything you do.
Set Actionable, Admirable Goals
It’s good to set actionable and admirable goals that allow you to set a framework for each year. This way, you might find that your customers or potential clients hope to help you with it.
Let’s say that as part of your revenue generation, you will donate your products or a part of your profits to a local charity you care for. Making it clear how much you’ve donated, with evidence, can showcase how proud you are of your initiative, and thanking those who’ve utilized your firm will show good character.
Then, perhaps you’ll set reaching a new fundraising goal the next year, which of course can be a fantastic means of generating more revenue too.
Take A Consumer-First Approach
All businesses focus on their consumers or users. It’s part of keeping them around. But it’s always true that some businesses go the extra mile to make themselves known as ‘the people for the consumers or customers.’
A good example is one of Poland’s biggest companies, CD Projekt. They are a video game publisher and developer that own the digital distribution website and software GOG - Good Old Games. What makes this brand different from the rest of the delivery mechanisms is that they remove all digital rights management (DRM) from the titles they sell.
This means that if you purchase from them, you own the software you have purchased it, rather than acquired a lease that could be pulled at any time. As this opens game developers up to piracy, it’s a good-faith effort to ensure that if they trust their customers first, and try to appeal to their needs as consumers, they will be supported.
Supported they have been, and it’s given them the chance to corner their own place in the market, often the first place people go to when looking for older titles that have been restored, or new titles free from resource-hungry copyright software.
Could you take a consumer-first approach in that manner, even at some possible expense or risk to your own brand? You would be amazed how people respond to it.
Get Involved In The Community
Of course, getting involved in the community will always be a good idea. Investing in the local sports team can be a healthy way of showcasing your branded logo every week, while also ensuring young people, men and women, can train, develop skills, and represent your local area in the youth leagues.
Alternatively, you might get involved in local trade shows or market events that take place. If you’re a local baker, getting involved in a fundraising drive with some of your pastries is hardly a bad idea. Perhaps you could also volunteer for certain provisions, such as your small IT firm volunteering to help structure the computing system for the local school at a good rate? If you look after the community well, they tend to look after you in kind. This may not be a strict rule, but it works often enough to appreciate and care for.
Catchy Advertisements Never Hurt
Of course, it’s very easy to see when a company is chasing that earworm through a radio jingle or television advert, and this can be irritating.
However, it can’t hurt to focus on a marketing campaign that can be remembered and still appreciated. For instance, let’s say you’re a letting agent for student properties in the area. You might bring out a full billboard in the student area with a catchy witticism related to partying and needing somewhere to crash after a hard day of lectures, perhaps with a funny image of someone sleeping in a full bed in the middle of a nightclub.
Fun imagery, catchy jingles, or an overall marketing campaign that lasts for some time can be a good way of relating your brand to a specific message. Think of an authentic Italian restaurant taking aim at ‘fake Italian cuisine’ from corporate restaurants or fast food pizza deliveries in the local area, you’re sure to drum up some interest by showing how it should be.
All of this is within your reasonable remit, and wouldn’t be considered over the top, but it will be noticeable. It can’t hurt to have those conversations with your team.
With this advice, we hope you can make your business stand out without overdoing it, in the best possible sense.