Businesses, non-profits, startups, artists, etc., all share one thing in common: branding. It's a definitive part of your methodology and execution for getting new customers and keeping old ones.
Now more than ever, consumers are talking more about what a brand identity means to them. From selections at the grocery store to cars on a lot, your brand is more than just a face; it's a toolset for you to define your business's personality. Both Apple and Samsung sell phones, and both Walmart and Target sell consumer goods, yet you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't sway one way or another with an opinion as to why they chose one over the other. From the way a snack is packaged to the lifestyle marketed by a jewelry company, it's all part of the idea of branding execution.
Like a digital thumbprint, it's unique and very often the first impression a potential consumer will make about your business before even engaging in business with you. At Sky Feather Studios, we've worked with some of the world's largest brands and helped create some new ones. In their unique stories, you find trends and secrets to success. Our team has developed this list to push you in the right direction and elevate your brand.
1. BUILD SOMETHING THAT STANDS OUT & SPEAKS
It's more important to be distinctive than fall into complacency; what are you saying?
No matter your business type, everything from an insurance company to a jetski dealer should have something to make themselves different. What almost all businesses overlook early on is consumer perception of their brand and how that turns into a first impression. That brand impression could be a make-or-break moment for your potentially qualified lead. If you are not communicating your intentions to your consumers, you're missing out on passive sales and sending the wrong message. Does your logo instill a sense of premium high-end service offerings, or are you a discount value offering? Go to a grocery store and compare a high-end brand or value brand - each offering will likely align with your notion of expected packaging design. Not only that, but see what on the shelf stands out to you; what makes them unique? What emotional response do they bring up? This is translatable to any business on the planet. Your branding is a gateway to eliciting that response directly from a consumer.
5 OF THE TOP BRAND SECRETS
to building a successful business
Cutting edge, sci-fi, technology focus, disrupter, innovative, feature set over craftmanship
Traditional, historical, plush, elite, craftmanship over feature set, status symbol, legacy of car culture
2. KEEP IT CONSISTENT & DON'T BE UNFAMILIAR
Your brand needs to function the same no matter where it is
When you go to your website, does it look like your social media? Or when they walk into your storefront, does it feel the same way as your advertisements? Having a unified brand experience is key to having a good customer experience. Your brand should feel concise and translate its functionality and emotional presentation across all mediums. Starbucks has a broad range of product offerings, but no matter where you go, either in its app or at the cashier, you receive an expected experience. Not just the visual elements, but the way it all comes together, the feeling of your brand. If your logo looks high-end, your website should reflect that and your service and functionality. If each element in your brand doesn't translate to another experience (or, worse, doesn't match), you're doing a disservice to your brand. Your business will need to build trust through brand consistency, and in doing so, you can create lifelong customers. The more consistent your brand is, the more recognizable it is to consumers, providing a feeling of reliability. There's nothing more harmful to a business than a customer whose recommendation goes south because of inconsistency or they have to do more work because they are in unfamiliar territory.
3. STAY RELEVANT & AHEAD OF TRENDS
Find what becomes the trend and build into what becomes standard.
Brands are fluid by nature, ever-evolving with the market, consumer, design, and platform trends. Refusing to adapt to these new criteria might harm your brand perception, confuse consumers or make you appear dated. It's also not just in your branding but also in what other brand outlets you choose to reach consumers can say about you. Having your brand on TikTok in 2022 will make you appear more tapped into youth culture, while having your brand pushing for LinkedIn engagement in 2022 makes you appear more B2B focused. This also goes both ways, and you must do your research to know what nets the best brand perception for your given market segment or platform. Using Linkedin to advertise entertainment for Gen-Z consumers would not be as effective as a TikTok campaign in 2022. Each platform will have unique strengths, weaknesses, and userbases. In addition to that, find what look aligns with your target platform's persona. You selling your product as high-end vs. value might be a difference of simply adjusting the logo and color palette placed on it to suit what is considered applicable to each market segment. Or perhaps moving your product from one store shelf to another because that retailer is more in line with your own brand's perception (i.e you market your product as high-end, so sell it through a high-end brand's store). Each of these minor tweaks can lead to profoundly meaningful changes in the perception of your offerings. Learn what your brand says and how it says it - do you appear healthy, indulgent, playful, educational, eco-conscious, or luxurious? Learn what your consumers find valuable about your brand and start to adapt your brand to work in tandem with your message. The best brands in the world are always the most relevant brands.
5. BE YOURSELF & BE AUTHENTIC
There's no such thing as a brand that appeals to everyone, so be original.
Brands must not only be unique, but they should stand for something. When you work with your customers, are you playful and eccentric, or are you highly technical and professional? Don't try to be everything to everyone; focus on amplifying what makes you special and unique. Your branding creates an inherent initial trust and connection to potential new consumers who are already aligned with your ethos. Furthermore, you're building lasting relationships by creating a sense of consistency in your ecosystem that reflects your business's values. Branding that is already authentic allows consumers to continually recommend your offerings down the line as they grow more comfortable with your language, characteristics, beliefs, mission statement, or guidelines.
4. FIND YOUR COLORS & BUILD AROUND NATURE
Color is one of the simplest ways to connect to consumers on a human level.
Defining your color scheme might sound inconsequential, but it's a significant subconscious factor in branding. Aligning your ideals and message with a similar color palette helps you take your message further. This works already because it's based on human nature; these ideas are rooted in psychological effects, biological conditioning, and cultural imprinting. Using tools like warm colors can evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to anger and hostility. In contrast, using cooler options like purple and green produces feelings of calm, sadness, or indifference. Now you can use this in line with traditional branding to differentiate yourself in an existing market. As a cleaning products manufacturer, you might use green tones in your logo to align with your sustainable product initiatives. Find a color scheme that A. aligns with your brand message B. enhances your goals and distinction in the marketplace, and C. taps into the emotional response you want to elicit.
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