With more businesses than ever before clamouring for customers’ attention, it can feel almost impossible making your brand stand out in the crowd. It’s tempting to think that the only reason the biggest players made it to the dizzying heights that they did is that they got there before any competitors existed. It just isn’t true.
These are some of the ways that those brands made it and the ways that yours could too.
Using Social Media Creatively
Everybody knows that social media is a simple and relatively cost effective way to engage with potential customers. However, so many emerging brands fail to make the most out of this powerful tool. Regular posting, accurate hash-tagging and even engaging an influencer or two are sure ways to begin to see a return on your time, but for the best results it pays to get creative.
One brand that stands heads and shoulders above the competition is Wayfair. This home furnishings giant recently furnished an entire 2400 square foot apartment in downtown New York with products from their catalogue. This not only made the perfect spot for some of their own Instagram materials but has an additional, much more lucrative purpose. Wayfair allows a multitude of online influencers to use this space for their own photoshoots. Once the influencer’s shots go up on social media, Wayfair is tagged, people ask about the furnishings, whole new audiences are reached – with no time spent on Wayfair’s part. Figuring out how to generate interest in a brand passively could be one of the most useful ways you can up your social media game.
Having a Higher Purpose
The fashion sector is notoriously competitive, so emerging brands have had to find ways to differentiate themselves. One marketing trend that is growing rapidly is in responsible consumption. The fast fashion industry has come under fire in recent years for its shocking disregard for both social and environmental issues. So, some brands saw this as an opportunity to appeal to consumers who wanted to consume consciously.
Tom’s shoes were at the forefront of this movement. This plimsoll brand pledged to donate one pair of their shoes to an underprivileged child for every pair that they sold. This simple model has been widely imitated and is particularly popular with millennial and gen-z customers. Of course not all brands go for such a sell one, donate one approach. Companies like fashion retailer Sevenly run a model where $7 from each purchase is donated to a weekly rotating charitable organization. However you can apply this model to your brand any way you like. Not only will your customers be more loyal, you’ll also be doing some genuine good in the world.
The Riches are in the Niches
One of the fastest-growing sectors at the moment is online gaming. There are so many competitors in the online casino field that separating the wheat from the chaff can be difficult. Some rival gaming sites have spotted this problem for consumers and have dedicated themselves to picking out recommended new online casinos based on attributes that the customer will find useful. Safety and security, as well as new player bonuses and game variety, are all considered in these rankings. This added convenience is recognized by the consumer and as such these sites can gain ad revenue at the very least, or hopefully potential new customers.
Little problem-solving niches like these ones are a great way to help your business get ahead in an oversaturated market. Marketers call this defining a ‘point of difference’, in simple terms finding what is unique about your business. In the above example Vegas Slots Online’s point of difference is that as well as providing a casino experience themselves, they also recommend emerging casinos to their customers. This helps attract people looking for a new gaming site to their own website, whilst creating loyalty with their current customers by addressing their needs.
Adding Value Wherever Possible
Standing out is not only about gaining new customers, but it’s also about retaining old ones. A sure-fire way to ensure that your customers keep coming back is by making them feel special. Adding value to your products is a simple way to do this. If you run a gift shop, why not offer free gift wrapping for returning customers – the effect of a returning customer far outweighs the cost of a sheet of tissue paper and some ribbon.
A key point in this is remembering to gently point out the value that you add. For example, instead of just handing out free coffees randomly, Costa introduced a loyalty card where customers can collect a point for each coffee they buy. Once the customer has amassed the right number of points, they can get themselves a free coffee. Although a simple idea, it has been proven time and time again that people have a much more faithful to brands that they carry loyalty cards for.