Sunday, January 31, 2010
A key strategy in branding is differentiation.
All businesses think they are different from the other fellow, but the fact is; most businesses follow - they do not lead. If you're comfortable in this slot, then chances are your business is lost in a sea of sameness. You are only one of many and chances are good that you are competing solely on price. It takes a confident leader to step out from the crowd and boldly proclaim their difference which in some creative cases is in a fact a company secret.
In most cases companies try to keep attention away from these secrets not realizing the missed opportunity of intrigue. I'm telling you to use your secrets as you main selling point. Your brand can be wrapped in secrecy that becomes top of mind in
your consumer base.
If you're wondering how something "we can't talk about" can effectively be used as a differentiator try guessing the brands behind these statements?
A: "Secret blend of 11 herbs and spices"
B: "Soft drink secret recipe"
C: "Two all beef patties - special sauce..."
D: "Which computer maker is obsessed with secrecy in launching products?"
Answers: A: KFC, B: Coca Cola, C: McDonalds and D: Apple.
My guess is that you probably had no problems naming all four brands. Identifying them reinforces their brand power with you. If what you sell involves a recipe of some sort then you have the beginnings of a juicy little secret that you can leverage as a point of differentiation. If your product is a cosmetic, then an active ingredient can be spun into a great adventure, involving all sorts of mystic tales. People are by nature curious. The fact that you won't tell them something can be very compelling.
Secrets also make great PR. There are websites dedicated to discovering product secrets. New car models, the newest Apple product and recipe sites where things like McDonalds' special sauce are attempted. Long story short- make your secret your differentiator. Don't be shy about it either, take every opportunity to intrigue your audience. Get them asking questions, make it the greatest thing since sliced bread.
You can wrap promotions around a secret. Use the 2 and 3D bar codes I mention in my Dec. 29/09 blog arcticle to draw customers to your website to figure out your secret, (of course they never do)! Taking your brand seriously can be very invigorating. Don't just take a traditional advertising approach and bring your brand to life. Leveraging a secret can enhance relationships and that is what makes you stand out! It's not spin it's reality.