How Becoming Brand-Led Helps You Outperform Competition

In this article, we’re going to talk about being a brand-led business and more. As a business owner, the state of your business is probably always on your mind in some way. Making a deadline, filling your pipeline, working in your business, managing staff. The list goes on. Maybe you are worried because you feel like you are losing business to competition.

Having market competition is a good thing. I’m talking about having competition, not comparing yourself to them.

Comparing is bad. Cut that out.

However, as a business owner you probably always feel like your business can be doing better. You can (and should) want to level it up. You can (and should have the confidence to) outperform others.

I read a research report last year that was quoted in saying that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by up to 82%. That’s a lot. But why?

This leads me to the reason for this article: to show you what it means to be brand-led and how moving that way can help you to outperform your competition.

What is Brand-Led?

There are many different ways to be led as a business. You could be investor-led where the decisions of your company align with your investors wishes or demands first. You may be an employee-led business, fostering internal culture before anything else, creating a high-performing collaborative workspace. You might even be innovation-led, making the top goal of your business always around innovating itself, products, or positioning.

So what is brand-led? Being a brand-led business means you completely align your business decisions with your brand strategy, your customers and their needs. You foster an environment both online and off-line that honors the natural gut feeling your consumers have about you.

I know it sounds a bit like hocus pocus doesn’t it? It’s really not. It’s as simple as this:

When you have a solid brand strategy, you have taken the time and care to discover your vision and start aligning and engaging your business to that vision of the future.

Your consumers and clients can begin to recognize this consistency when you activate your brand strategy into branding elements, stories, marketing campaigns, and such.

With a brand-led business you and your employees carry out your work in a way that respects and honors the brand, it’s vision, mission, values, and promise to the market.

I hope you can see how this becomes incredibly powerful in the consumers’ eyes, all these elements (your vision, your offer, and your brand communications) should tie together seamlessly and passionately.

At the heart of it all lies your values. Without values, how can you or others know what you believe in, how you do business, and what you find important in your everyday? When you are led by your brand, you are also led by your values. You make decisions with your values in the front of your mind and you act with integrity.

Brand strategy will help you make strategic and critical decisions that are consistent with both your brand and business strategy, decisions that your consumers can stand behind.

It creates a pretty amazing connection with your market. They believe IN YOU. They REMEMBER YOU. They VALUE your brand even when you aren’t there telling them why they should.

What About the Competition Factor?

For this it’s quite simple. You can stand out by being brand-led. Period. Customers tend to prefer purchasing from businesses they believe in.

We can see from history of brands that there is some correlation between brand and commercial success. I bet you recognize all of the these global brands. And even the brands who may have a less positive brand (Marlboro), STILL have a super consistent and subsequently successful brand – and consumer following.

Do you have a brand strategy? Have you mapped out your brand DNA and what you stand for?

Are You Ready to Become Brand-Led?

It’s not just about having a solid brand strategy and fancy brand identity; you have got to also have substance. A good product, good business model and strategy, drive, passion, and market potential.

Tick all those things off your list? Great! Let’s rock!

If you aren’t already, you should become a brand-led business – conjuring up a unique business full of integrity and loyal following. Full of integrity, because you live up to your values and reflect that in your business. Full of loyalty, because your brand promise aligns with your audience – and you DELIVER on it.

Tips to Become More Brand-Led:

Tip #1 – Map out your brand strategy (if you haven’t already).

You can get started with my free Brand Canvas. Sketch out your brand basics.

With this free download canvas, you will be able to understand and improve your business’ brand & strategy using a simple and intuitive framework.

The Brand Canvas can help you realize your business’ vision, mission, and values. The, you can use it to refer back – ensuring you are consistent in your decision-making and business processes.

Tip #2 – Book a workshop with a brand consultant (Hint: Like Me)

By no means am I the only brand consultant out there, if the time is right (you are a startup or need a helping hand to guide your brand strategy development) I recommend reaching out to a pro. Having an independent facilitator for this type of thing helps you break out of your business bubble and look at it from all sides.

I’ve got a whole serious of brand strategy workshops depending on your needs, compare them all here.

Tip #3 – Read books about brand building & brand strategy

Building Strong Brands by David A.Aakerbuilding strong brands book
What Great Brands Do: The seven brand-building principles that separate the best from the rest by Denise Lee Yohnwhat great brands do
Brands Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant by David A.Aaker

brand relevance book

What Are You Waiting For?

To put it simply, ‘brand’ is all the reasons that you buy a good or service… whether you realize it at the time or not.

When you are ready, give your brand the priority it deserves and reap the rewards.

Who am I? 

I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!

Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.