Business Plan Center

How to differentiate your brand

Building a consistent brand can help customers remember your company — and keep them loyal.

Your brand influences every aspect of your business — from your reputation and marketing strategy to employee training. That's why it's important to create a memorable, distinctive brand you can implement across operations.

Here are four tips to help differentiate your brand.

1. Use a consistent visual style.

Customers should be able to recognize your brand when they see your brochures and business cards or visit your website and social media pages.

Help your business leave an impression by creating a style guide that outlines the look of your printed and online materials. Include guidelines for:

  • Fonts

  • Colors

  • Logos, including size and placement

  • Images, including quality and subject matter

  • User names and avatars on social media

2. Build a differentiated brand voice.

Using a consistent voice is also important for developing your brand. Think about how you want people to perceive your business. Are you:

  • Elegant?

  • Reliable?

  • Cutting-edge?

  • Or even humorous?

Use tone, verbiage, and messaging that make sense for your image. Also ensure you, your employees, and your advertising speak in the same voice.

3. Give a face to your business's name.

If you have a brick-and-mortar location, introduce yourself to customers and give them a chance to connect with your business. If you operate online, interact with customers through your website and social media platforms.

Either way, encourage customers to build a relationship with your brand by being visible and available.

You don't have to put your face or name on all packaging and messaging, and you don't have to be on-site every minute. But be present enough to show customers you care about them.

4. Position your brand as an authority.

Extend your brand's visibility by establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. Customers want to buy from reliable businesses, so show off your skills, experience, and credibility. Here are a few ideas:

  • Trade shows: Host an eye-catching booth and invite questions from industry leaders, potential partners, and prospective customers.

  • Online videos: Create a YouTube channel, and provide how-to tips and other helpful information.

  • Forums and Q&A sites: Engage prospects by answering questions in industry-specific online forums or professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn.

As you develop your brand, present a strong and coherent identity to the public. Also, incorporate your brand strategy and style guides into your business plan to help you and your employees maintain consistency.

Learn more on how to establish your brand's unique selling proposition.