That ‘thing’

Has your business got that thing? You know, that ‘thing’ that sets you apart from your competition and makes you stand out?

Everyone has a ‘thing’, it’s just up to you to figure out what it is, and how you develop it.

Finding your unique selling point is not all cute and cuddly, it can be a finicky and sometimes lengthy process. You might be one of the lucky ones where it is obvious, and that’s great, but for those who don’t have a stand out ‘thing’ this article is for you.

You need to take time out and brain storm, it doesn’t matter where you are, in fact most of my ideas for logos and branding come to me while driving to work. It may sound crude but you need to get all of the ideas out of your head and onto paper, it doesn’t matter if they are good, bad or ugly, you may end up using parts of three or four different ideas to make one super punchy, super memorable marker for yourself.

For example, if you are starting your own stud, or a new section of your business and you want a name that is memorable and can flow on to create stand-out branding and recognition then look at yourself, your farm and your environment as a starting point. What is your farms name? Does it have any specific and recognisable features like rolling hills or a three-pronged creek? Are you situated somewhere special or significant? Or do you really like pizza and want to name your stud after your favourite type? Any idea is worth looking at again, and from there it is a process of elimination – and repeating the brainstorming and elimination process as necessary during the refinement stage of your idea.

If you aren’t starting from scratch and want a brand refresh the importance of your ‘thing’ still stands. Do you have a current marker or selling point for your brand? You need to sit down and evaluate if it is working for you. When it comes down to it, your brand needs to work as hard as you do, it needs to do the talking and make people pay attention to you. So, if what you’re projecting isn’t catching enough eyes or ears, then it may be time to go back to basics and figure out if what you’re currently saying is actually saying what you want it to.

Say your business currently sells to your local butcher and you want more shops to pick up your brand but you find that your marketing campaign is not turning heads. It may be time to re-evaluate the message you are projecting and find another way to present it. Instead of just selling ‘great tasting Angus beef’, you can adapt this message to appeal more to the consumer.

How do you deliver the great tasting Angus beef and who are your consumers? You specialise in growing hearty weaners to sell to your local butchery (your ‘thing’), so essentially you’re selling the meat to locals (your consumer). Now by selling ‘the Angus beef locals love to eat’ you are bringing it down to a personal level for potential clients, and that will cause them to connect with your brand – and their local butcher in turn. This kind of approach hits a few nails on the head, with the locally sourced aspect being a marketable bonus for the potential butchery’s own marketing campaign. It’s also a great way to make travellers think they are getting a taste of the local atmosphere and offerings, it’s catchy enough to be remembered and combined with some stand-out graphics,it’s a great ad set waiting to happen. It’s also a message that can be incorporated easily on social media.

How do I tell people about my ’thing’?

Once you have figured out what your thing is, it all comes back to understanding your target market. In the example above, the sellers target market is rural butcher shops, but as part of appealing to those potential buyers, the seller would have to show the butchers how their brand also targets the butchers patrons. This means, when you are considering how to market your unique selling point, you may need to consider a multi-tiered approach, where you not only demonstrate how you can help them directly, but also how your brand can help sell itself to their clients.

No matter how big or small your business, you need to create a marketing plan. It doesn’t need to be extremely detailed or elaborate, but you do need to know within a set period of time how you are going to market yourself and where.

This could be as simple as creating a spreadsheet for yourself where you can tick off targets when completed, such as posting three Facebook and two Instagram posts per week. If you are one to plan ahead you could even put an alert in your phone calendar to remind you when you are out feeding cattle to take a snap and post it to Instagram, the whole idea is that you know what message you are trying to communicate, you just need to fit the communication in with your lifestyle to make sure your message is out there to be seen.

It is important to note however, you need to research into how your target demographics respond to different mediums and marketing campaigns and develop your approach in accordance to this. Depending on whether you have simple or elaborate marketing needs can indicate whether you can handle it yourself or within your business, or if you need to outsource to ensure the most bang for buck and appropriate reach.

Finding and marketing your ‘thing’ go hand in hand. You can have the most amazing selling point in the industry but if nobody knows about it, then its’ not really a selling point at all. In an industry that thrives on competition, your unique ‘thing’ isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity, so it pays to put the time and effort into developing it.

For more information please contact Ebonie Sadler-Small, Graphics and Multimedia Officer Email: