Think of the brands with the best marketing and the strongest brand identity: Nike, Coca-Cola, Glossier, Dollar Shave Club, Southwest Airlines …
There’s one thing all of these brands have on their side, one thing that every brand relies on to attract and retain customers.
Now it’s not the same word for every brand. If there was a single word any business could make money from, wouldn’t we all use it? But every brand has a word that they rely on in their branding and advertising, that sets them apart and prepares them for success.
For Coca-Cola this word is “lovely”, for Dollar Shave Club “affordable”, for Southwest it is “friendly”. You have the idea.
But how can one word increase your brand and conversions?
Increase conversions by increasing brand strength and loyalty
Building an audience, and then increasing that audience’s conversions and loyalty, can be one of the biggest hurdles for a new business – or even an established one.
A strong brand identity is a good choice here. When your audience has a solid idea of who you are and what to expect from you, they’ll usually know if they want to (and keep buying) from you.
One of the easiest ways to strengthen your brand is to give your audience a point of reference: How do you compare yourself to other brands they may know more about?
That doesn’t mean you need every ad or post to talk about another business and why you are better. Far from it.
But when you have a word, your special word, that embodies your brand and sets you apart from your competition, you are miles closer to increasing your conversions.
Sally Hogshead is our favorite branding expert and will fascinate your audience. She always says …
Different is better than better.
(NOTE: Want to learn even more incredible branding tricks from Sally Hogshead? Check out this FREE webinar on her Ultimate Personal Branding Tool for even more tricks on building a strong and reliable brand.)
The meaning of “different” in branding
It may not sound like intuitive, but your biggest advantage with branding is the difference. You don’t have to be better – though it won’t hurt – but you have to be different. After all, your audience can’t determine the quality until they’ve already made a purchase.
But if you differentiate yourself from your competition, that’s already a selling point. The trick then is to take advantage of your difference and use it in your marketing and branding.
This is where the “one word” comes into play.
The one word
We stress a word for a very specific reason. While slogans and taglines all have their place in branding, if you go even further with a single word, you have a really versatile marketing tool.
You can put a single word in almost any marketing asset: ads, social posts, blog posts, website copies, etc.
But that can’t be just any word. There are certain “rules” that you should follow if you want to get the most of them.
1. It should be an adjective
While nouns and verbs are great for sentence structure (you’d even say they are necessary), adjectives are a marketer’s best friend. Because adjectives describe how one thing is different from another.
Maybe you sell yoga pants. So are many companies. However, if you sell “versatile” yoga pants, it differs from your competitors who only sell “stretchy” pants.
2. It should be different from your competition
Descriptive is great, but if you stick to basic adjectives, you’ll leave this blog post without improving your conversions or branding.
You have to choose a word that embodies yours difference, not just your color, fabric style or quality. Remember, different is always better than better.
Anyone with a Facebook ad will tell you that their yoga pants (or whatever product) are the best. But can all leggings be changed from the studio to the work lunch to being picked up at the daycare center?
Rely on your unique characteristics as a brand. Do you remember Southwest with its “friendly” branding? Can you name another airline that you could describe as “bearable” or even “friendly”?
3. It should embody the core of your brand identity
They want that one word to feel like you. It should encompass the most important part of your brand and products so that it is enough for that one word to be the only thing your audience knows about you.
We didn’t say it would be easy to find that one word. But it’s important.
As inconceivable as it may seem, if you are able to reduce your brand to a single word, from here on you will have a better understanding of how to advertise and market. And most importantly, if your word frames you the way your audience prefers … But we’ll get into that in a moment.
Now that we know what that one word must be, here’s how to discover your word.
Find your only word
Finding your one word seems like the hardest thing you’ve ever done for your business, but it really doesn’t have to be. All it takes is three simple steps and you will be able to make more money.
I don’t mean investing in a thesaurus, although that can be useful across the board. I mean, do your market research. You can’t know how you are different from your competition if you have no idea what your competition is selling or how they are selling them.
Whether you are simply searching other links on Google for similar keywords or looking up your competing ads on Facebook, make sure you have a good idea of who and what you are competing against.
2. Know your customer
If it looks like we’re telling you that you have to fill out a customer avatar worksheet every week, it’s because we do, and it’s the foundation of good marketing. (There’s a reason this is one of our basic marketing frameworks.)
When you know who you’re selling to and what they value, you know what they’re looking for in a brand – and a product / service. Which means you know if they would match your one word.
This word will fit into almost all of your marketing collateral, so it has to be something that your ideal customer will love.
3. Frame the benefits
The best word in the world won’t do anything if it’s not seen as a good thing. But again, this shouldn’t be a “better” benefit; it should be how good your difference is. The Dollar Shave Club was not “sharper” but “affordable” – a huge difference to its primary razor competition and a huge advantage too.
So make sure that your only word is a good thing and that it is another benefit for your competition.
Once you’ve found a word, use it anywhere. Your customer should see this word and think of you first. And with that kind of brand awareness and loyalty, your customers will get up and running and your conversions will skyrocket.
And if you want to learn even more about how to build your brand, head to Sally Hogshead’s free workshop! It gives you a head start in identifying your audience and finding the right words to sell to them. Sign in here!