Written by: Chloe Corona Yan
Lay your thoughts on the table. Start with what you want your brand to look like. This includes the theme, style, colour, logo, and rules. What’s on brand and what’s not? How do you want your customers to feel when they see your product? Are they happy? Elated? Surprised? What colours are associated with that feeling? If you’re not sure, A/B test colours to see what resonates best with your customers - analytics are your friend here. A platform to mention is Pinterest. To help collect your ideas, Pinterest is a fantastic place to house inspiration. A picture is worth a thousand words and Pinterest’s ability to compare images makes it easy to grasp what will resonate. For instance, when you take a look at Nike, their logo may seem simplistic, but through consistency, the image has become a global icon. Pour your values into your brand image and let it reflect your overall goals and philosophy.
Know your target audience - your customers are attracted to what they like to see. This may seem like common sense, but understanding what’s trending amongst your customers is important to ensuring a positive experience. Think customer first - if you’re customers like it, so do you.
Every brand has their own style, which gives them their personality. For example, a brand like Apple is modern, sleek, minimalist, and creative. While their famous Apple logo is simple, it’s iconic. It makes them look and feel innovative. On the other hand, brands like Starbucks and Coca-Cola build their aesthetic on heritage, mixing a little retro with contemporary design practices. By doing so, they convey trust and reliability, while staying relevant in their industry. Although large scale examples, these businesses are successful for a reason. They know who they are, what they want, and how they want to be perceived. That’s the key. Whether you’re a mainstream brand focused on mass marketing or a small startup focused on niche marketing, capitalize on your image and measure the results.
In today’s day and age, to be relevant, your brand needs to be on all platforms. It isn’t good enough to only have a website. You need coordinated digital touchpoints to reach your customers. Make sure your brand is visible on every platform that your customers are frequenting. Create buzz, and build your reputation there. Your brand needs to be consistent, but your messaging must be tailored to cater to each platform’s audience behaviour. Every digital channel is different. Your Instagram will have a different pull than your Twitter. By tailoring your message, you increase the likelihood of audience engagement with your brand. Customers need to have ease of access when interacting with your brand online, regardless of the platform.
Taking inspiration is encouraged, but full on copying another company is a no-go. When you’re surrounded by competitors, chances are that other companies will be similar. Don’t give in. Find a balance between what trends your customers are hopping on to, but stay true to your own brand. You will stay authentic in the eyes of your customers. The more you copy other people, the less personality your brand has, and the chances of your success decrease. Originality is always the best choice!