Don’t be an Apple

If you’re looking at a bushel of apples, what do you see? Surprise! Nothing but a bushel of apples.

Put this in the perspective of your business being viewed against a sea of similar businesses. Nothing looks different. Nothing stands out. Nothing dominates. Your business, in essence, is a part of that bushel.

Is that how you want to be perceived – as just another among the same sea of red and round?

When you talk about the effectiveness of advertising, you need to remove yourself from the bushel – eliminate the apples-to-apples comparison. Instead become an orange. A peach. A plum. Otherwise you stand a good chance of losing your competitive edge and you’ll flounder in a sea of anonymity.

One of the ways you can set your business apart is by creating an identifiable brand. If the brand doesn’t stand out, your advertising and marketing won’t stand out. But how do you create an effective brand?

First, think about keeping it simple and clean. Your brand or logo needs to be very easily recognized, from the way the logo is designed to the way the advertising and marketing campaign is constructed.

One of the leaders in simple and clean is the Nike brand. That iconic swish can never be mistaken as belonging to anything but Nike.

Secondly, develop a rallying cry that further defines the brand. Nike does this with “Just Do It.” Similarly, McDonald’s captures your attention with “Your kind of place.” It lets you know that McDonald’s is a place to come to that is warm and embracing. Coca Cola’s “It’s the real thing” implies that their soda is real and everything else isn’t. It establishes a benchmark for every other brand to beat.

Remember too, that the logo needs to be everywhere you are, in all your advertising and marketing, and it needs to look the same every time. You’ll never see Nike’s swoosh with an outline or drop shadow – it’s always that same. This helps to reinforce the brand’s identity.

So when you begin to assess your strengths against your competitors, don’t meld your company and its assets into a sea of “me-too.” What you really want to emphasize is how you are different and thereby secure a higher level of visibility.