tips to build a strong brand.
- Shout about what makes you extraordinary.
Think back to why you started your business, whether that was several years ago or last week. What drove you begin? Likely, it was because you felt you had something to offer the world, whether it was a product, a service, or yourself. What makes you just that bit different than your competitor?
Maybe you are an illustrator. There are tons of illustrators out there – what would make someone choose your service? You might be kick-ass at drawing faces or using pastels. If you’re a web designer (again, tons of us), you might be really awesome at designing functional sites for restaurants or unique styles for blogs. Whatever it is that makes your heart sing will help your business soar.
- Look to industries outside your own for inspiration.
Inspiration is everywhere. You may end up finding yourself closed in if you are only looking within your industry for ideas! That is where we get stuck copying or too-close-for-comfort iterations. For example, I doubt that if you are reading this, you own an airline company. However, Southwest is an awesome example of a very cohesive, strong brand. Everything from their website to their safety cards to their coffee cups display the Southwest personality and look. Your business may not have safety cards, but you can use the inspiration of their thorough cohesive branding as a model.
- Be willing to try something new, but don’t ignore best practices.
The fastest way to become out of touch is to get stuck in a rut or do something because you’ve “always done it.” The best brands are those that are always trying to innovate and make their businesses better. That being said, don’t lose your sensibility! There are certain times when it doesn’t pay to try something different. Make sure you are considering the standards of your industry and what you audience is going to expect.
One example could be with email marketing. Currently, studies say that most email campaigns are opened between 2-5pm on weekdays, with Tuesday and Thursday being the most popular days. Trying to stand out and choosing to send an email campaign on a Saturday at 8pm would be a silly idea! Sure, there won’t be many marketing emails going out at that time - but your audience won’t be reading. Trying a Monday or Wednesday would be a more logical experiment. Bottom line: don’t be different just for the sake of being different.
- Strive for timeless, not trendy.
“Oh my gosh, everyone has handwritten logos in black and white - I must get one!!” is not something you should think. It’s so tempting to hop on trend bandwagons, especially when it is a style you also happen to love. But, in order to avoiding a rebranding project every year or two, work really hard to build a brand that speaks to you business and your dream clients - not the latest styles on Pinterest. As Yves Saint Laurent said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
What are some ways you have employed intention in your brand? I’d love to hear more ideas!