Branding in an Overcrowded Market: The Dos & Don’ts
Launching a new brand is a daunting process. There’s so much pressure to stand out, and branding certainly plays an important part in that success. So it’s little surprise that launching in an already crowded market only multiplies the stress.
But here’s the thing: a crowded market isn’t a reason to abandon hope.
Your favourite brand of strawberry jam probably wasn’t the first jam on the market. It probably wasn’t even the best. Maybe it just had the best branding.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to sell a product.
“Want to stand out from the crowd? Be bold.”
Then again, an existing market audience doesn’t always translate to surefire sales. It definitely requires a little more effort and diligence, and that’s exactly what we want to talk about.
No matter what your product or service, here are the branding dos and don’ts to ensure you don’t fail.
Don’t: Copy Another Brand
It’s a common mistake, but one that’s repeated time and time again. So many people make the error of trying to replicate another successful brand. If it works for them then it should work for you, right?
All this does is send a message that not only is there nothing special or unique about your brand, but you’re willing to stoop to the low point of blatantly ripping off the existing market. Not cool, and definitely no a way to win over customers.
Do: Identify Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
Now that you’ve given up on trying to copy that other successful brand in your niche, you need to think about how you’re going to stand out. This means taking a look at the market, analysing what’s out there, and figuring out what’s missing.
“It’s never really about you. It’s about the customer.”
Don’t be dissuaded by the existence of similar products of services. Apple wasn’t the first computer company. But they made themselves one of the biggest companies in the world by demonstrating how they’re not only different to what’s out there, but better.
Don’t: Be Afraid to Push Boundaries
Sometimes you have to take a risk to win big. We’ve highlighted this before with New Zealand fast food restaurant Murder Burger’s “meat is murder” slogan. And just take a look at their ads. It’s tongue-in-cheek, daring, and most importantly, memorable.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Be bold.
Do: Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes
It’s easy for you to see why your brand is the bee’s knees. But that doesn’t mean the customer is going to feel the same way.
Your brand is your baby. But to the customer, your brand is just another brand.
So why should they choose you? No, really. What can your brand offer them? What does it do better, or differently, to make the customer give you their money?
It’s never really about you. It’s about the customer.
“Great branding is powerful, but only if people actually see it.”
Another way of looking at this is to consider where that customer is coming from and their motivations. What excites them? What’s important to them? What do they want and need?
Your brand needs to answer those questions in a way that your competitors can’t. That’s how you win the sale.
Don’t: Cut Corners
Operating in an over-saturated market means there are infinite options for the customer to consider. If you’re going to convince them to choose you over another brand, you need to put your money where your mouth is.
Offer free samples. Run social media advertising to reach the right audiences. Pay a designer to create branding that makes you stand out. Build a website that people will actually trust with their credit card details.
Want your brand to succeed? Don’t expect to put in nothing and get something in return. If you’re operating in an overcrowded market then you’re in no position to overlook anything. Court the customer, whatever it takes.
Do: Step up Your Marketing
Great branding is powerful, but only if people actually see it.
Not only will the right marketing campaign get your name out there, but it might help you to target audiences your competitors aren’t reaching. This is the magic of targeted advertising like social media advertising, or search and display ads.
We always recommend a solid digital marketing strategy for new brands. But if you’re operating in an already crowded market? It’s a non-negotiable.