Why “Me, Too!” Corporate Branding Won’t Win You Customers
When you first start to define your corporate branding guidelines and strategy, it can be very tempting to check out the competition and model (or even mimic) what they've got going on -- especially when you see your competitors are successful. It’s easy to start to think that they must be on to something and that maybe you should try out what they’re doing and tack on a “Me, too!” to that value proposition.
Unfortunately, that’s the worst thing you can do.
“Me, too!” corporate branding might make you feel like you’re on the right track. But in reality, the only thing it will do is make your customers think that you’re the same as every other company they’re researching. And that’s how you lose business by never getting it in the first place.
Instead, you need to take time to find the voice of your company and personality and put that energy into your brand. Because a true and memorable brand isn't just an accident -- it’s a strategic creation based on your core values and informs every marketing initiative you have.
Here are three steps that can help you identify your unique brand voice to land more customers:
1. Scope Out the Competition…and Don’t Do What They’re Doing
Surveying competitors within your industry is still a valuable time expenditure -- but what matters is what you do with that information. Instead of using competitor websites to build a plan for your own, use that information to make sure you’re not doing the same thing.
Take note of colors, layouts, and turns of phrases and put them on your “Do Not Use” list for internal work. That way, when a prospective client is trying to decide between one of the many businesses that provide your service, yours will stand out -- literally.
2. Identify Your Brand’s Voice and Personality
Now it’s time to get proactive and take a good hard look at what your business is all about. For starters, take a look at your current website and ask yourself these questions:
- Does your brand stand out in your industry?
- Is it easy to see what makes you different from the competition?
- After reading through your website, is it clear “what you’re all about” as a company?
If you can’t confidently answer “Yes!” to those questions, you may be losing business with every website hit.
Because here’s the thing: if you don’t understand who you are, how are your customers supposed to? You need to work on your core company values and discover the traits that define your company’s personality and culture. Once you identify these key traits, you can convey them in your digital value proposition.
3. Promote and Distribute That Message
Once you have defined your corporate branding, it’s time to promote and distribute that message to your existing audience.
Start with your company website: make sure your visual identity reflects the core values you've established. Make sure your logo and graphic design elements speak to the tone and voice of your brand.
Then make sure your messaging on your web pages are telling the right story. Proof each page and call to action to make sure your messaging is different, interesting, and truthful to your brand.
Finally, take your messaging to your email newsletter, your social media, and your website updates. Develop a real brand with these promotional tools and create a real relationship with your clients.
Far too often, companies want to “draw a brand out” from a website redesign. But it simply doesn't work; in fact, it’s backwards. Every aspect of your digital marketing presence -- from your company blog to your website redesign font treatments -- needs to come from who you are as a company, not the other way around.
Have you ever seen a company try to take flight on “Me, too!” marketing? How did that make you feel as a customer?