How to Make Your Branding Stand Out

How to Make Your Branding Stand OutBy Hannah Connor

When it comes to launching a business, branding is perhaps the most important and challenging task entrepreneurs face. It means condensing an entire organizational ethos into a succinct aesthetic, defining the face of your business, and ultimately establishing a distinct style for consumers to associate with your products. Needless to say, a lot goes into building an effective brand. As the online marketplace continues to evolve at a dizzying rate, the techniques needed to successfully establish and market a brand are constantly being redefined.

Despite the countless obstacles that arise from the subjectivity and diversity that governs the art of brand development, there are a few proven elements that all effective brands incorporate. Here’s how to make yours stand out:

What Branding Does

A brand creates a niche in the minds of consumers for a company to inhabit. It does so by creating and defining something new: either something that was formerly meaningless or something that was formerly carrying a different set of associations. In this way, the product and the brand are fused together. The purpose, function, and object (as defined by the brand) all combine to mutually inform each other. The products, which never existed until now, are not essential. But the brand denies this obvious truth by defining an entirely new empty space, which it also fills.

Why Branding Works

Branding works for two important reasons. One is that we are hardwired to think in terms of identity. Consumers feel much more confident buying from ‘someone’ they know. A brand gives a company a name, a face, and a reputation. Consumers then buy into that brand, while the product itself assumes a lesser importance.

Secondly, brands work through a subtle process of subconscious association. By marketing inexplicit imagery and language, brands force consumers to make assumptions and imbue their symbols with hinted-at meanings. By discovering these meanings themselves, consumers are more deeply influenced by the marketing message.

The Science of Naming

Even nonsense words have meaning. In a process similar to onomatopoeia (wherein words imitate specific sounds: i.e. oink, swish, croak), specific phonemes carry certain associations. Kellogg’s Crispix cereal, for example, not only carries the idea of crispiness, but also evokes the grid pattern on each piece with its suffix. Actual words also carry many associations that can inform brands. Amazon evokes exoticism, a jungle densely packed with diverse objects. The mind can’t stop making associations when it encounters something unknown.

 Visual Information

Visual information works according to similar subconscious principles. Colors evoke moods, values, and natural associations. Logos can carry a rich abundance of inexplicit meaning. And certain juxtapositions (of symbols, colors, or both) combine to spark meanings radically different from those contained in their individual elements.

Above all, branding is a process of differentiation. Because companies often sell products similar to those already on the market, brands are a necessary way of establishing uniqueness and originality in today’s chaotic marketplace. The best brands convey a tremendous amount of information in the simplicity of a subtle visual marker. Imagine the Nike swoosh, for example: the symbol, in and of itself, means nothing. But by surrounding it in a carefully crafted marketing context, plastering it across the sportswear of famous athletes, and juxtaposing it with the phrase ‘Just Do It,’ Nike has unlocked the latent associations in the symbol. Today, when we see the swoosh we think speed, energy, and effortless style.

What will customers think when they see the iconography of your brand in years to come?

Hannah Connor works with brands large and small in her role at voucher cloud. Some of the brands they work with have become iconic due to the simple success of their branding. Finding a successful brand image takes research, clever thought and a strong simplistic idea. It is not easy to perfect and even the biggest companies re-brand to find more success.

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