The first thing you need to understand when making a brand for your business is the fact that it’s hard to stand out in a competitive field. In order to do so, you need to be genuine and unique. Now, these two ideas may sound simple and self-explanatory but you would be surprised to learn just how many enterprises can’t pull this off. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top six crucial branding tips that you need to hear in order to provide a sizable competitive edge for your startup.

Make it all about the customer

When talking to someone, you always need to bear in mind that they’re far more interested in talking about the topic that they care about than about the one that you hold close to heart. Once you realize that branding is nothing more than a communication (a discourse) between your company and the customer, you’ll start seeing the pattern. What you need to do is communicate to your customer what is it that your product does for them and how it helps them. Make them the protagonist of the story and your company into a means to an end.

Take a stance

A lot of new brands are afraid to take a stance out of the fear that they’ll offend or drive away their audience. This makes them take a neutral stance on the majority of burning topics in order not to offend anyone. Well, guess what, starting a controversy isn’t always something that works against you. In fact, it’s better to have 50 percent of people strongly agree with you and about 50 percent of them absolutely loathe your brand than to have 100 percent of your audience to be indifferent towards you. By taking a stance, you’ll avoid the previously discussed nightmare scenario.

Go visual

About 90 percent of all information that we receive about this world comes from visual means. This is only natural, seeing as how there’s an estimate that our brain receives visual information about 60,000 times faster than one that comes in any other form. Sure, this means that picking the right corporate colors and logo is a priority but so is branding your product. Remember, your product is supposed to be your most recognizable feature. So, check out different packaging options that fit your budget and check out some online labels in order to get some ideas.

Be careful who you get associated with

Another crucial piece of advice that you need to hear is that you need to be extra careful of who you get associated with. You see, when choosing influencers, a lot of people merely focus on their social media influence or their reach. What they often forget is the fact that these people have stances and values of their own. This might rub off on your brand, as well, if you’re not extra careful. This means that you need to research potential partners before you reach out to them.

Let others speak for you

The reason why brand ambassadors are so effective is due to the fact that they seem less biased than a marketing expert you hire to speak for you. A content writer that you hire to make an “about us” page on your website might have a better way with words than a user leaving a positive review, however, their words don’t have the same weight. The reason why user-generated content (UGC) is so potent is that it just feels more genuine. Plus, it’s coming from someone who’s a lot closer to the potential user themselves, which means that you get an extra bit of credit.

Prepare for some damage control

Sometimes, things take turn for the worse and by hoping/pretending that this could never happen to you, what you’re doing is just burying your head in the sand. When such a thing happens, your PR team (or the PR agency that you’re outsourcing to) needs to be ready. Sure, sometimes, this is not a thing that you can anticipate but having a contingency plan is one of the keys to survival in the business world. Responding too soon and waiting too long to respond can both backfire horribly. Just make sure that you have all the answers long before you actually need them.

As you can see, in order to be seen as unique, you need to put the customer first and find a way to communicate your brand to your audience. With these six branding tips on your side, you’ll be able to do just that.