How to Own Your Industry as a Millennial

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

So you want to grow your business and own your industry. And in order to do so, you know you’ll have to make your brand stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, the crowd is a mob these days, with what feels like approximately 10 million other brands screaming their name. Plus, the world’s attention span is shorter than ever as the number of competing voices continues to increase. You may be starting to feel like it’s going to take a deal with the devil just to get your brand noticed.

Before you sign that blood contract, there are a few brand-development techniques you should try first. Some of them may take time to show results, but consistency and tenacity can go a long way. And, in a world of ubiquitous distraction, having patience is not some Sisyphean quest. You just have to maintain focus longer than the goldfish around you. So with that in mind, here are a few ways you can grow your brand and own your industry.

Focus on SEO

When it comes down to it, growing your business and standing out in your industry is a game. And, like it or not, there are people who play the game better than others, and those better players are the brands you know. These days, the game is all about search engine optimization, or SEO — a term you’ve likely heard before. At least that’s the game until AI achieves general intelligence, ascends to technodeism, and Skynet enslaves us all like the meat puppets we are. But that’s at least five more minutes away, so, for now, SEO it is.

Trying to understand SEO strategy may feel harder than cracking a bank vault with a Twizzler. But it really just comes down to a few simple, but crucial, components. SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content to promote views and backlinks. The more relevant and useful your content is, the more likely that search engines will be to recommend it.

There are countless blogs, guides, and videos online explaining how to optimize your content, but there’s something to say about hiring specialized growth marketing services. SEO strategy experts know the best tips and tricks for keyword research, and they practice implementing what they preach. However you choose to do it, focus on developing and executing a robust growth marketing strategy so your content is optimized for search engines.

Develop Your Brand’s Voice

Now, you could go gung-ho with SEO and use the same keywords, post schedule, and general marketing strategy as your competitors. But then you’d sound and look like them too. While you develop your strategy, don’t forget to make sure your brand’s voice remains unique. This can be a challenge, but the good news is that you have a secret weapon no one else does — you!

Developing your brand’s voice is all about deciding on a tone and sticking with it. Your brand could be inspiring, funny, poetic, raunchy, irreverent, inoffensive, or [insert witty adjective here], as long as it’s consistent. Studies show 46% of US consumers would rather buy from a brand they trust, and consistency of voice often contributes to trustworthiness.

As with most parts of life, trust isn’t something you just get right away — it’s something you earn. To some degree, your brand’s voice is a reflection of your own, so you need to find a confident part of yourself you want to build on. It’s also important to make sure you’re speaking to your audience. Taking a pompous, superficial tone isn’t going to fly with young activists, while a vulgar approach wouldn’t be the most appropriate when addressing most grandparents.

Be Confident

Good ol’ Teddy Rosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and he was a wise man. But forget that for a minute and take some time to be miserable and compare your brand’s voice to others out there. While you certainly do want to sound unique, there’s one trait your brand’s voice should always have, and that’s confidence. Leaders and businesses that express themselves confidently are often seen as more trustworthy and credible. And some of the most recognizable brands also have the most consistently confident voices out there.

Look at prominent brands that own their industry for example. McDonald’s slogan isn’t “I hope you like it.” It’s “I’m lovin’ it.” Nike’s isn’t “Try on our shoes.” It’s “Just do it.” BMW’s isn’t “A nice looking car similar to other nice looking cars.” It’s “The ultimate driving machine.” Notice how all these slogans project an unwavering and unabashed sense of confidence. Whether or not you have a slogan, experiment with different writing to see how you can project authority through your brand’s voice.

Patience Is a Virtue

It’s no secret that building a brand from scratch is a challenging undertaking. It’s something that takes time, effort, and a serious amount of dedication. But it’s also something that’s quite possible to do, and can pay off in spades in the long run.

Developing your brand and learning how to own your industry is all about standing out from the crowd. You can do that by focusing on your growth marketing, developing a confident brand voice, and being consistent. Experiment with different brand development strategies, find which works best for you, and stick with it.

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.