As a brand consultant for companies, I know for a fact how important branding is. The important thing in branding is that it is an opportunity to create your company’s personality and make a closer connection with your customers. The key to strong fashion branding is through differentiating your brand from the rest of the competition. In simpler terms, “TO STAND OUT” with a unique selling point and story.

People will argue that its just all about the logo. No, it is more than just a logo. Contrary to popular belief, branding encompasses much more than your logo and packaging. The total sum of everything your company represents is your branding. From your brand name, designs, way of communication, to your core values and business model types.

Here’s 7 ways on how to stand out:

1. CREATE YOUR OWN TRENDS, DON’T FOLLOW THEM – The most common rookie mistakes for startup brands is that they try to replicate their competition. Rather than doing that, develop something your customers have not seen from anyone else in the market. It could be a specific product, service, value, buying experience or point of view that feels different and refreshing. By creating something unique, customers have no choice but to come to your for that point of difference.

2. DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT – You’re most likely going to gain the respect and loyalty from people who share the views that your brand has while helping develop a strong brand identity. Experiment on a new design technique, a new type of cut, a different way of labeling or print or a bold company statement!

3. PUT YOUR BRAND MESSAGE ON REPEAT – Your brand’s message and values should be clear and be all over the place consistently to build a sense of predictability. This is the only time your brand should be predictable, when you’re trying to get your brand message across your budding audience. Customers tend to be more loyal to a brand that they feel is reliable and consistent.

4. PLEASE YOURSELF, NOT EVERYONE – When you try to please everybody, you’re going to be BORING! Your brand will also be forgotten quickly. Do this instead: Focus on delivering to your CORE customers, ensuring that they will remember you instead.

5. BE SINCERE IN YOUR MESSAGING – Show your true personality by being sincere to your customers. By being you, you’re build an authentic brand. When you mention topics closely related to your target market or shared common problems for example. It creates a level of trust which then turns to sales. This one take time to develop but it does forge stronger relationships with your target market in the long run. Remember, this is a marathon, not a race.

6. BE VISIBLE WHERE YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE VISIBLE – Why is this important? It’s promoting your brand and increases recall at the same time. Whether it’s from traditional media advertisements, digital media, social media or by getting involved in fashion gatherings, you want to be there you want to be seen. I said that because if your brand is trying to capture let’s say a Tier A market, you don’t want to be showing ads on a tabloid or a noontime show, right? You want to be in an A Market Magazine or media house that caters to your market.

7. SURPASS ALL EXPECTATION – Deliver more than what you promised to deliver. That’s how you exceed all expectations. Never stop adding value to your products or services. When you do that, they will be repeat customers and it’s going to increase your chances of positive feedback from the community. And remember, feedback, testimonials and reviews are vital to any type of business. Do not disregard those ever, good or bad, especially the bad ones. They will help you get even better.

Consider these 7 procedures to developing a strong branding:

1. Create your brand’s core values (find how to create yours in my business blogs)

2. Write down unique selling points, features and benefits of your brand

3. Create the top 10 different character types of your target customers

4. Know your top 10 competitors

5. Draw your brand identity visually

6. Set a tonal voice for your brand

7. Make reinforcements to your brand’s core values

Question of the day: What’s your future/current brand name?

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