Marketing and Branding New Zealand | Black Fox Creative
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Without an authentic brand at the foundation of your advertising and promotional activity, you'll just blend into your already exaggerated industry.

Photo Credit; Roya-Ann-Miller
The world is drowning in brands. There was more than 50,000 new businesses registered in New Zealand in 2016, and even more businesses that exist that increase that number further. Even if only a fraction of those businesses compete with yours, that's an overwhelming number to deal with in an age where information is plentiful and digital sharing is at an increasing high.

Related: Why you need a killer brand?

To make matters even more challenging, all those businesses and brands are competing with each other for visibility by using marketing and savvy advertising campaigns to compete for their ideal client's attention. If you want any hope of standing out from the crowd, you need to make an incredible first impression.

How can you do that? By making sure your brand encompasses these seven important qualities:

1. Be Authentic

First, your brand needs to be original. If you attempt to copy your competitors, you will look uncompelling and risk losing integrity with your authenticity. If your wording is based on sales, it's not going to resonate with any of your customers. Instead, find a direction that nobody has taken before, and develop an image and voice that shines your own style and personality. This can be tricky at times, but it is vitally important and creates a unique sustainable business.

2. Be Genuine

Next, your brand needs to accommodate honor. If you constantly create the same replies to your customers, they are going to think that a robot has taken over your business, and although automation is great to alleviate time constraints, you should still be genuine in your customer interactions. Invest in the "personality" of your brand, and speak to customers the way you would speak to a friend. You might make some mistakes along the way, but your customers appreciate your honest and sincere tone, which forms better relationships with you in the long run.

3. Be Compassionate

The most memorable brands are the ones that understand their ideal clients. They demonstrate this by creating messaging that is relevant to only one target niche at a time; for example, if you are targeting small business owners that are parents to young children, you might research how they can work from home more efficiently.

This will allow you to show sympathy and instantly make it easier for that client to relate to you. In time, this will lead to increased interactions with your brand, which in turn will lead to more customers, because they will refer their friends, and so on. It is vitally important to consistently research your client demographics, and adjust your messaging as required.

4. Be Daring

Brands that dare to inspire change, generally change the industry standards and obtain massive reputable gains from doing this. They change the status quo. They can somewhat be controversial. They're somewhat separate to their industry, which means they could lose a portion of their database, but they also encourage more loyalty and respect from the people who stick around, and they never run the risk of being seen as "boring" or "just another brand." They are not wanting to do the same as someone else.

5. Be Consistent

There is so much internet chaos that it is important to ensure your brand is consistent. If your brand standards aren't clearly defined, or you have people complaining about your service, and their expectations, it could further isolate your business from your customers. The goal is to build trust; but to do that, you need to give them a sense of familiarity and predictability.

The best way to ensure consistency within your business is to connect with your staff and your partners in crime, and craft a detailed plan of what systems work well, and what needs improvement. Your ideal clients will appreciate the confident approach.

6. Be Seen

Obviously, the only way to build your reputation from scratch is to make your brand as visible as possible. If you cannot be seen or heard, you will not be found, it is that simple.
Create brand authority, by leveraging different opportunities to expand your strategy; for example, build your reputation by launching a social media strategy and investing in advertising and promotional materials to back that up.

7. Be Valuable

Unfortunately, all brands can be replaced. Brands can become complacent, so it is essential that your brand stands out by offering more value than your competitors. This can be achieved in a number of different ways. First, you could simply offer quality products and services, for a reduced price; eg. similar product for half the price, as it will be only a matter of time before people start coming to you in the masses, yet....

Unless you have the flexibility to compete on price, (without eating into profits) it would be the best approach to offering value in terms of more quality, informative content and a dedication to personalised customer service. Authenticity plays a role here, so think carefully about how best to appeal to your customers.

If you are just about to start a business, and considering how to brand yourself, spend time getting to really understand your customer's pains, and how you can assist them.

Overall, even if you have in business a long time, consider trying to improve on your value proposition to your ideal clients is ALWAYS a winning solution.

Consider how to adjust your advertising and your execution of customer interactions, and you are half way there.

Without a strong brand at the foundation of your business advertising, you'll just blend into the crowd, and get un-noticed by your customer.

Happy to help.

Taryn (Taz) Lyford
Graphic Designer, and Director

Expect a Difference! - Black Fox Creative

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