When you’re starting a business, it can be really difficult to find ways to stand out. This is especially true if you’re in a crowded industry.
Here are 6 tips I wanted to share to help make your branding stand out:
- Develop a unique brand identity: What do you want to be known for? How do you want to make people feel? (And how do you not want to make them feel?) Your brand should have a unique identity that sets it apart from competitors. Figure out how you want to be remembered, what people should call to mind when you come up in conversation, and this will help you create a memorable brand name, logo, and tagline that resonate with your target audience. But how will you know what will resonate with your target audience? You’ll need a brand strategy, based on research.
- Know your audience then create a brand strategy: Understanding your target audience’s needs and preferences is critical to creating branding that actually resonates with them. What specific problem does your product or service solve for your audience? And how does solving that problem impact their life for the good?
Every business has an obvious problem that they solve. (The roofer fixes your roof. The jewelry store makes you look more decorated and attractive. Sheertex makes the best tights on the planet.) Often, it’s easy to understand what’s expected from someone in an industry. But now, try going deeper. Explore how your product or service impacts your audience’s life beyond the initial benefits. What emotional and psychological benefits are you providing? Are you giving people more time, more peace, more family focus, more joy?
Antiqüedad primary logos by Wooster Creative
This often requires conducting market research so you can understand what appeals to your audience. You can then use this information to tailor your branding strategy.
Once you understand your audience, emphasize your unique selling proposition. What’s that? It’s what makes you special. It’s how you solve your customer’s problem in a unique way. It’s your secret sauce. Your unique selling proposition (USP) should be a key part of your branding strategy. Highlighting your USP differentiates your brand from competitors and gives customers a reason to choose your product or service.
- Break away from trends: Analyze your competition and ask, “Are there any common trends or themes that we can break away from?” When looking at your competition, it can be easy to feel pressured to imitate them and compare yourself constantly. But it’s much more effective to be yourself, your authentic self. This way, you’ll end up standing out!
Sometimes in a saturated industry market, brands will all do similar things simply because it’s what people expect. (All the same colors, all the same fonts, etc.) This actually provides you with a unique opportunity to differentiate yourself if you choose to purposefully move away from those trends.
- Be consistent: Ensure that all of your branding elements are consistent across all platforms, including social media, website, packaging, and marketing materials. Consistency helps to build brand recognition and trust. It creates a sense of comfort and makes your customers feel safe.
Antiqüedad Brand Strategy created by Wooster Creative for a Cuban Boutique based in South Florida
- Create a memorable customer experience: Creating a positive customer experience is essential for building a strong brand. Make sure to provide excellent customer service, and ensure that every interaction with your brand is memorable. Share your great customer experiences on social media to show with social proof the effect you’re having.
- Use storytelling: People remember stories more than they remember facts. Telling your brand’s story in a compelling way can help to build an emotional connection with your audience, making your brand more memorable. Highlight your purpose and your effect on real humans in the storytelling on your website, in your photography, and on social media.
Overall, creating a successful and memorable brand takes time, effort, and attention to detail. By following these tips, you can create a branding strategy that leads to a stand-out brand which will resonate with your target audience.
Side note: I highly recommend reading “Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love from Day One” by Emily Heyward! She’s such an engaging writer and dives into how cult-following brands today like Everlane and Allbirds quickly built a loyal customer following with brand strategy. It’s a powerful (and easy) read for any business owner.
Also, “The Brand Gap” by Marty Neumeier is one of the essential books I read when I started out in advertising. (Handed to me by brilliant designer + inspiration James Caruso.) It left a permanent imprint on my mind. It’s a basic but incredibly powerful explanation of brand psychology.
Lastly, StoryBrand Framework for brand storytelling is hot right now—and for good reason! We’re a nation of distracted people, so words often ring hollow, but stories engage. Don Miller succinctly explains how to use stories in “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen”. Great for small business owners, marketers, or anyone who just wants to connect better in their communication.