Many things can make a business unique. From products and services to website customer experience (CX), customer service and support, every facet of your business gives you an opportunity to stand out in the minds of consumers.
Striving to be different is a good thing. But it's essential to do so thoughtfully and with structure. The best way to do this is by knitting your innovative elements together into a single unique brand identity with a unique selling proposition (USP).
If you're looking at your business brand (or even your personal brand) and feel that it's a bit lackluster, here are four steps on how to create a brand identity you can turn it into a one-of-a-kind wonder that consumers can't forget.
1. Research Your Target Audience
You can't build a successful brand if you don't know your target audience. That's why the first step with any branding overhaul is to conduct fresh market research. Chances are you've done this before, possibly more than once, as you've gotten your business up and running.
If you want to create a unique brand identity, it's important to familiarize yourself with this information once again. Remember the group to whom you're marketing. If it's been a while since you conducted your past research, ensure your current perception of your customers is still up to date.
You can use a variety of market research tools to collect this information. Surveys, focus groups, feedback requests, and even interviews are useful. As you gather information and create buyer personas, ask the following questions to help you identify key themes:
- What are the wants and interests of your target audience?
- How does your target audience like to interact with one another?
- Where does your target audience congregate?
- What are some of your target audience's pain points?
- What does your target audience expect when shopping for solutions to those problems?
If you want your brand to stand out, you need to tailor it to the expectations of those you're serving.
2. Check Your Competitors, Too
The other half of the market research element is a competitive analysis. Perform this assessment of your competition with the explicit goal of revealing each competitor's strengths and weaknesses compared to your brand.
A competitive analysis is more than looking up your main competitor and checking out their logo or Facebook page. You want to gather specific information for each competing company that includes honest comparisons of:
- Products or services: This should include comparables (e.g., you both sell two types of toothpaste) and non-comparables (e.g., the competitor also sells floss, and you don't).
- Market share and growth: Try to gain an understanding of how much market share you each have, the stage of business growth you're in, and the rate of that growth.
- Target audiences: Do you aim for the same niches within your industry, or are you catering to different groups? Perhaps they overlap?
- Other companies' USPs: What is the unique selling proposition that each business offers? (More on creating your USP below.)
- Additional relevant information: This can include pricing structure, customer reviews, marketing activity, and other essential details worth comparing.
You won't be able to get a solid answer for every item on this list. However, it's worth doing your best to gather available information and assess what makes you and your competition similar — and different.
3. Assess Why You're Different
Once you've gathered information on your target audience and your competition, it's time to use it to set yourself apart and to determine what is your differentiator. You want to specifically address what unique value you offer to your target audience. What is it about your brand that stands out to others?
GEICO's gecko might make for memorable and funny commercials, but its real value is that it offers affordable insurance. The humor merely reinforces the fact that the company makes the insurance process less stressful. Apple may have a sleek, elegant vibe, but its unique value comes from creating high-quality products that function well and double as status symbols.
What is it about your brand that keeps customers coming back? Here are two tools you can use to help you narrow things down:
- A SWOT analysis: SWOT stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.” Conducting a SWOT analysis is a great way to gain a snapshot of your brand's best attributes.
- A USP: A unique selling proposition is the defining factor (or factors) that you present to your audience that sets you apart. It's what you emphasize in every sales pitch and marketing campaign to convince potential customers to choose you over the competition.
Conducting a SWOT analysis and defining your USP can naturally unveil what you should focus on to create a unique brand identity.
4. Infuse Your Brand With Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Once you have clearly defined what makes you unique, it's time to consciously integrate it into your brand, starting with your mission statement.
You may already have created this when you launched your business. If you did, review it to see if your strengths and USP are clearly present. If you don't have a mission statement, now is the time to write one. It will serve as your guiding light as you differentiate your brand from others.
Putting a core mission statement in place is an excellent first step, but at this point, you and your team will be the primary ones who are aware of that information. Now it's time to let that clear vision percolate through the rest of your branding activity. Here are a few examples of areas to consider as you apply your USP throughout your company:
- Business apps
- Marketing assets
- Sales pitches
- Product packaging
- Customer service
Consider each of these areas and how your brand's unique strengths are consistently communicated to customers in each scenario.
Building a Distinctive Brand with Bubble
At Bubble, we understand how challenging it can be to create a unique brand. There are more than 31 million businesses in the United States alone. Standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. But it's not impossible.
You can create a truly unique brand identity if you approach the task with the right tools and strategy. Conduct market research. Analyze competitors. Assess your strengths. Then, use tools like Bubble's no-code builder to ensure your unique elements are clearly and consistently communicated every time someone interacts with your brand.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more.
Millions of users are building and launching businesses on Bubble — many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raised $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs who are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.