If you want to succeed in business or as a personal brand, you will need to cultivate a strong brand image. This might sound wishy-washy right off the bat. Still, a strong brand image will separate you from the legions of competitors all copying each other and trying to replicate existing ideas.
A strong brand can generate an army of fans, drive many new customers toward your website, help you ward off your competitors, and even help repair reputational damage. Of course, so many companies or individuals fail to create strong brands because they are frightened of standing out from the crowd, taking a risk, and being bold.
There is a reason why not every politician (or even presidents) are as recognizable as Donald Trump or why Richard Branson and Steven Bartlett are more famous than 90% of other CEOs. They have put their reputation on the line, not been afraid of having their own stance, and imbued their personalities with a uniqueness that is difficult to replicate.
To help you create a strong brand image, here are some useful tips:
Invest in unique branding
One of the best ways to build a strong brand image – whether as a company or individual – is to invest heavily in unique branding. Behind every recognizable brand is equally recognizable merchandise. Having your fans or followers walk around in distinctive merch not only helps them solidify their bond with your brand but also helps advertise you to countless others. For example, if you had your customers showing off your custom chuck taylors by Anthem Branding, then you would become a far more impactful brand to the wider world.
Don’t be afraid to court controversy
Another key tenet of strong brand images is the ability to be unafraid of controversy or divided opinion. In fact, the best marketers understand that this is the rocket fuel of brand growth because so few companies or individuals are bold enough to stand their ground and have an opinion. There are a couple of compelling reasons why controversy is powerful for a brand.
The first is that people love controversy. They love to debate and argue over opinions, stances, and polarizing actions, which stirs up a great deal of media attention and dominates the public’s conversations.
This is like unlimited free publicity for you, which is all generated because you stood by your values. The second reason relates to exactly that – having values. People only respect those with integrity and opinions because it demonstrates that you are human and secure in who you are.
Companies or personal brands are often overly needy for approval, which actually pushes the customer base in opposite directions – towards more edgy rivals. Of course, you don’t want to be controversial for the sake of it. This principle is more about being unafraid to show your personality or brand values off for what they are.
If in doubt, do the opposite of your competitors
As the previous point touched upon if, in doubt, you should walk in the opposite direction to your competitors. This might feel counterintuitive, but it is perfectly logical. If every brand in your niche thinks a certain way, acts a certain way, and uses the same marketing strategies, then you are going to stick out like a sore thumb in comparison. Customers like this because it demonstrates that you have your own ideas and may actually be a market leader.