Branding in 2018: What will the New Year bring?

IF YOU’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT BRANDING, 2018 OFFERS A FRESH CHANCE TO BE DIFFERENT.

Countdowns, champagne, Auld Lang Syne… New Years is only a month away.
And that means it’s time to dust off the crystal ball and guess at what that mysterious concept—“branding in 2018”—might actually look like.

These last few weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve are always a time of reflection and resolution—a time to reflect on what was, both good and bad, and a time to decide to make change.

If you’re like most people, your New Year’s resolutions will be personal in nature.
Lose weight. Make more money. Finally take that dream trip.

Some make business resolutions. Make more money. Write that book. Hire a star employee. (Or fire a bad one.)

However, these aren’t resolutions at all. These are goals. A resolution is a decision to do or not do something—and a goal doesn’t become reality simply by making the decision that you want it.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD REALLY RESOLVE TO DO NEXT YEAR

This isn’t a groundbreaking observation. Anyone who has successfully realized a goal knows it takes dedication and focus, not simply desire.

But what do you focus on if you want to make more money in your business? What can you dedicate yourself to if you want to move the needle?

Instead of focusing on trends, consider remaking your branding. In 2018, it will be the special sauce that makes you tastier than your competitors.

At BRANDING FOR THE PEOPLE, we believe your should focus on your brand story — one that connects you with your customers on an emotional level. Why? Because 90% of the reason customers buy from you is based on emotion. Your brand is the most powerful way to tap into that emotional connection.

In other words, this year, now is a great time to make another kind of resolution… Resolve to create your brand story.

 

WHY THAT MAY BE A CHALLENGE—BUT A REWARDING ONE

Most resolutions fail because people are scared to accomplish them. It’s not that they can’t—it’s that they’re terrified of what it would mean to accomplish them.

Plus, it takes hard work, sacrifice and a willingness to be different. And rebranding to improve your customer experience is definitely a left-of-center idea.

People get nervous about being different. But that’s what it takes to have a business and a life of significance.

It’s easy to be comfortable, have a job, and simply exist.

It’s not as easy to run a successful business. And more difficult still to run one that stands out.

So it’s not a surprise, really, that most people are scared to make a splash. In a sense, most of us were schooled to avoid being noticed. To keep from being fascinating.

In school we’re taught to color within the lines. Stand in line. Raise your hand and wait your turn. Behavior that deviated from the norm resulted in detention.

 

BRANDING IN 2018: DON’T CHASE TRENDS—RESOLVE TO STAND OUT

The problem with blending in is that business doesn’t work like that.

In today’s world—the one with distracted clients, bigger competitors, and people who are willing to work for (much) less than you—being the same is a deeply flawed strategy. You can’t win by being invisible.

You win by making sure that buyers remember who you are, and then by making extra sure they remember how great it is to work with you.

In other words, by focusing on your brand promise, then doing whatever it takes to make sure your customer experience exceeds it.

 

TAKEAWAY

Branding is about creating a desired perception, and perception is the reality in your customers minds. To create more customers you need more attention, but the attention you drive via your marketing efforts needs land upon a well defined, “different” brand. Then when you’ve made the sale, your customer experience needs to let buyers know what all the hype was about.

So this year, don’t make a resolution to make more money, gain more customers or sell more products. Don’t resolve to add the newest tool, or finally get serious about that shiny social site.

Make your resolution to be different—and then resolve to actually get that way.

 

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