Just about every good business has a solid brand behind it. While branding is one of the most important parts of doing business today, it’s also something that has a tendency to be misunderstood sort of frequently. Many might not realize this, but branding involves a lot more than just the images and colors that you use to represent your business. Of course, the visual elements that inform your company’s look and feel are definitely a huge part of branding it properly, but the other important piece of the puzzle is the way your company actually communicates. The attitude, so to speak, that your company puts forth is going to be dictated by things like the marketing and advertising campaigns that you choose, and the voice or tone that your written materials use to communicate. It’s important to make sure you carefully choose all these elements to properly represent your business, but it’s also important that you’re not doing this in a way that hews too closely to what anyone else is doing. Branding your business in a way that’s too similar to another company’s established branding doesn’t make you look good, and can cause some serious brand confusion. We’ll talk about how you can avoid something like this.

1. Do Your Research. Look into what your competitors are doing. If your company occupies something of a niche market, you don’t really need to look at too much beyond your direct competition. If another company does something completely different from what yours does, you might not have to worry so much about brand confusion, even if there is a similar element or two here or there. You do, however, want to make sure you avoid lifting any branding wholesale from somewhere else, even if you’re not doing it on purpose.
2. Curate Great Content. A great way to separate your brand from the rest of the competition is to thoughtfully and carefully curate the content that you’re offering up. Not everything you post or publish should be about you, and if you can establish a brand that is clearly dedicated to helping its customers and offering information that they’ll find useful, you will have a loyal following that makes no mistake as to what your company can do.
3. Know What You’re Going to Offer. Part of your content curation — both in terms of the content you share, and that which you create — is deciding exactly what your goals are with that content. It’s a good idea to sit and figure out exactly what you want to be offering to your customers, so that you can start to shape and direct your brand properly. Make sure you have a unique identity carved out for yourself.
4. Keyword Research. Branding is about more than just what you do to market and advertise in a front-facing way. Another part of branding is actually the keywords that you pick for your search engine optimization. When these keywords are searched, it’s your company that’s going to come up in the results, so make sure you carefully do your research and pick the best possible ones to avoid any confusion.
5. Offer Extras. A great way to control your brand positioning is to make sure that you’re going above and beyond what might be typically expected of your company. Reach out to your customers, both current and potential, and offer them information and content that will enrich their lives in ways that aren’t directly to you and what your company offers, necessarily. Reaching out to your customers in a way that helps them with their lives in general will help you build serious brand equity and make sure that your company isn’t being confused with anyone else.