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What makes the best brands stand out from the crowd?

The answer to this question may surprise you. Despite many people associating brands with simple things like visuals, color, logo, etc., a brand is comprised of so much more. Once you begin to understand the silent and subtle things that successful people build into their brand, you can begin to incorporate these as strategies for your own business.

“A brand is simply trust.” Do you know you said this? One of the world’s most innovative brand builders, Steve Jobs. Few businesses have the kind of branding like the Apple company. But the things that make up the Apple brand go beyond the literal white apple as a logo. Brands that have a lasting connection with customers have more strategies incorporated into the brand than simply visual design.

In this article, we explore how some of the most successful businesses built up their brands using innovative strategies.

  1. Understand the Difference between Branding and Marketing

The line between branding and marketing can be thin. This is because the two concepts do have principles that overlap. However, a business that knows the difference between the two and puts the two concepts into practice will reap the benefits.

So, what is the difference? Well, let’s keep it simple; branding is the identity while marketing is the way you communicate your identity to people. Now that you understand this, you can work on the following points.

  1. Establish Values

A successful branding strategy is one that involves more than just the visual aspect. Establish clear values that communicate who and what your brand is. This ethos will assist your company in reaching customers who resonate with those values, and in turn, garners long-term loyalty and a solid foundation for future customers to believe in your brand.

Most importantly, if your company establishes and demonstrates clear values and ethos, then it is critical that the business follows through with these.

For example, if you have a food-related business then taking a stance on sustainability with the help of someone like, fair trade, and farm grown goods can help to establish a solid following. This can be followed up with blog posts and articles on such subjects.

  1. Offer Content your Audience will Value

Flowing from the previous point, offering content that your audience will value is a key strategy in developing a strong brand.

Effective content marketing– what does this even mean? Avoid producing huge amounts of content and rather produce quality content that your prospective customers can bite their teeth into and can actually use. Subconsciously, this lets your audience know that your company is a brand that can be associated with quality and should be taken seriously.

  1. Embrace Controversy

Create a brand and distribute content that can stimulate discussions and help to incorporate healthy pinback buttons. While this can seem like muddy waters to navigate, check out the following tips:

– Use a viewpoint that your target market will share with your business- this strengthens support for your brand

– Look at current trending news topics and align it with your chosen viewpoint

– Hold your vision for what you want your brand to be, and make sure that it is in alignment with this viewpoint.

And, most importantly, don’t take a controversial stance just for the sake of drumming up support and coverage. Always be authentic.

  1. Use Multimedia

Recently, a statistic from HighQ showed that video is taking over online traffic. According to the report, more than 70% of online traffic was generated through videos. You can use multimedia and video to reinforce your brand identity by combining evocative imagery, sounds, and words. For example, successful outdoor brand Patagonia released several short films designed to inspire people to take a stance on environmental issues. These videos have been shared across social media by nature lovers, adventurers, and environmentalist.

  1. Involve your Audience as a Key Part of your Brand’s Identity

User-generated content is one way to involve your audience in your brand’s identity. This will help you to have content that your readers and potential clients will value and will help your consumers to place their trust in your brand.

One way to do this is to have your audience submit entries into competitions, and use these entries as content. This is something that works extremely well through apps like Instagram. Just one scroll through the app will illustrate just how important audience involvement is for your brand.

Actively encourage consumers and clients to submit pictures and content that links to your brand. For example, let’s take a look at how you can use an Instagram account if you have a clothing apparel line. You can encourage consumers to post pictures using brand specific hashtags and those who post those pictures are then featured by your brand, whether on stories or actual posts.

  1. Be innovative with your Brand

Here we will touch on some of the visual aspects of your brand. Take a look at the following points to help you with designing your brand identity.

-Create a memorable logo that you can use to connect with your audience. Using emotional appeal through design elements can make your logo a way for your target audience to be reached. In some way, let the design of your logo and other visual branding aspects connect to the emotional appeal of your brand.

– Use color psychology and choose your color palette with careful consideration. It is best to stick to simpler color schemes and to use colors that connect with your brand’s psychology. For example, if your business is based on sustainable foods then use more natural and softer colors to reflect your brand’s ethos.

– Pay attention to what font and typography you are using. Again, it is important to choose typography that is in alignment with the brand identity you are creating and trying to communicate.

Impactful branding design is about more than just colors that match; by learning to understand how visuals impact psychology you can help communicate your brand identity with just one glance. This expands into all of the points mentioned above- do your research, know who and what you want your brand to be and then authentically flaunt that to the world using the above simple innovative marketing strategies.

Andy McGowan
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