Don’t Be A Cool Brand — Be A Real Brand!
While developing your brand, it may be tempting to follow the leaders in your industry — but that would be doing yourself a disservice. It doesn’t matter how popular or “cool” the trends may seem. At the end of the day, it’s always temporary. How can a company stay ahead of the market and remain relevant? By committing to remaining real at all costs. Let’s take a look at why authenticity is the most important facet of any brand and how you can ensure yours is never fake.
Me, Too & The Lemmings
Before the modern connotation of the phrase came about, “me, too!” was a term used by marketers to describe brands that followed the industry leaders, trying to ride coattails to success. This move is rarely, if ever, a successful one as those copycat brands usually end up driving sales for the top dogs they’re trying to emulate.
Take for example the case of Royal Crown Cola. Who drinks that, anyway? Not too many people — in fact, it has been estimated that only 4% of soda sales in the United States go to RC. Despite being the first company to introduce a canned option, diet products, and other innovations in the beverage world, it’s still a name that’s only mentioned by dedicated fans or as a joke. That’s because throughout the course of it’s history, no matter what Royal Crown did to get ahead, it only furthered the sales of Coke and Pepsi. That’s because when people saw RC, they mostly just thought about the other two brands and chose one of those instead.
This same concept can be applied to your brand. Are you following the cool trends? Or are you just another lemming following the entire pack over the edge of a cliff to your company’s death? That’s a hard question to ask yourself — but it’s critical if your business is to survive it’s infancy. So what’s the fix?
Keeping It Real
Authenticity — that’s the trick to branding. Anyone can put together a phony persona to sell a product. Modern day consumers, especially Gen Z and Millennials, are wise to most advertising tricks that have worked for decades. Those tactics simply won’t work anymore. Buyers are more likely to spend their money on companies whose values resonate with their own. How can a company divulge their core beliefs to potential customers? That’s where branding comes in! What’s your purpose and reason for creating this company? How is it different from what else is out there — are you just hopping onto a bandwagon? What do you stand for? What do you believe? Once you’ve figured all this out internally, it’s time to strategically plan your marketing to reflect that carefully curated image above all else. This way, customers can find you — and if you have a strong identity they resonate with, that’ll forge loyalty and keep your business growing indefinitely.
Following the leader was something we all did a lot while in grade school. That’s because it kept us safe. In the business world, playing it safe is never a good idea. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Choosing to model your brand after a cool one in an attempt to be on-trend and relevant will only end up driving sales for your competition — and alienate any potential customers you might have had. The best way to succeed? Always be yourself! The first step towards any successful marketing strategy is to take a deep dive into your company culture and develop an authentic identity that’s both striking and eye-catching from the first encounter. Need help getting started? Get in touch with our branding experts at SAMA Labs today for more information.