Everybody Has a Brand: Are People Indifferent About Yours?

Like all brand owners, you must constantly be vigilant to avoid being tarnished with an unflattering brand. No amount of creative marketing materials can save your business if your brand becomes “Over Promise and Under Deliver.” You will have earned the disdain of your clients and prospects.

While you face the threat of a negative brand, you must be continuously aware of an equally devastating — and far more common — foe: Indifference. Thanks for Lance Godard, marketer extraordinaire from The Godard Group, for raising this important point in a recent telephone conversation.

Your brand may be ineffective or even harmful because of your negative performance. More likely, however, you and your brand are indistinguishable from your competition. You are part of the sea of sameness, the mass of monotony, the tide of tedium that makes up your industry. You are another face in the crowd.

Were you a color, you would be gray.

How do you make your business stand out? As Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin teach, you must “Differentiate or Die.” You must cease being gray and become a dazzling blue or brilliant yellow that jumps off the page and exclaims how you are different in ways that matter to your clients.

Take a new approach to an old problem. Ignore the conventional wisdom of your industry and ask “why not?” Think Like a Client. Change the way you package services to better meet the needs of your clients.

Communicate effectively with your clients. Provide valuable information with no strings attached. Remember that Nobody Cares About You, so you must focus on your clients’ needs and concerns rather than on selling your doodads. Don’t exaggerate or puff up your claims. Become a credible, reliable source.

Innovate. Don’t follow the crowd. If your competitors are doing it, don’t. Do something your competitors are unable or unwilling to do. Create your own business model.

You must change your way of thinking and develop differences that matter to your clients and prospects. When your clients recognize your differences, they no longer will be indifferent, and your business will boom.

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