I really hope these recent blogs have helped you understand the importance of a brand strategy. Today, I wanted to highlight some companies who show us some tangible examples of how effective it can be when you do this right.
Presenting: Our Top 5 Favorite Branding Role Models.
If you’ve ever seen Simon Senek’s Ted Talk “Start with Why,” you know Apple is the first example he mentions in his “Golden Circle” framework. They start with answering “why,” making the “how” and “what” much more compelling. If that sentence made no sense, I strongly recommend watching this.
|On top of that, Apple does a brilliant job of highlighting the same qualities in their consumers that they do in their products – if you are an Apple person, you are also innovative, imaginative and creative. Somehow using a Mac reflects that you Think Different. THAT is some meaningful branding.|
2. Trader Joe’s
First of all, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are the best branding strategy ever.
But we also like how they’ve differentiated themselves from their competitors by positioning themselves as a “national chain of neighborhood grocery stores.” It feels like shopping in a corner store, with elements that make shopping fun – whimsical product names and helpful employees in Hawaiian shirts. All of that adds up to a brand that feels like a friend.
Speaking of sweet treats, we gotta show some respect for milk’s best buddy. Mainly because despite being 108 years old, they definitely figured out social media:
This doesn’t mean you have to chew on your product until it looks like Elvis. It’s about bringing creativity, fun and innovation to your messaging. As we say at BOS Media, “Be more human” (even if you’re a cookie).
Just in case you thought only the big companies have a brand strategy, here’s a local shop that is an inspiring example of knowing who you are and letting that shine through all aspects of your brand.
I love everything about M.Lovewell – the font, the photography, even the way their store smells when you walk in the door. So it’s not surprising to read their About Us page (click on image below) and find, this flows right from their story, and their mission to “inspire others to love well.” That’s exactly what they do.
Had to end with this one, because at BOS Media, we believe in businesses being “all heart.” Southwest is so committed to that, they made it their logo. Here’s to more of that in our companies (and in the line for open seating on your next flight).
Bottom line: I would love to do anything I can to add YOUR NAME to this list. Whenever you’re ready to re-think your brand strategy, please give me a call.
Last week, our family watched the movie Inside Out together. On top of it being an “emotional” experience (literally – much love, Bing Bong), it also speaks to the way BOS Media believes the best brand strategy should be built.
Too many companies do the opposite – they look outside first, trying to figure out what’s cool or trending, then reverse-engineering a strategy around how to please most people. I think we all knew someone like that in middle school – let’s not run our business that way.
If you’re going from the inside out, it starts with a question that only you can answer:
“What’s your story?”
If you really know that, it will help you set priorities, and give customers a clear understanding of your identity. When you feel lost, it will be the North Star to guide you home.
Your story matters. The good and the bad, the stuff that changes along the way, and the non-negotiable things you are willing to fight for. All of those ingredients will lead you to your most effective brand strategy.
What is a brand strategy?
- What your brand stands for.
- What promises your brand makes to customers.
- What personality your brand conveys through its marketing.
Don’t underestimate the power of your story to inform this strategy. You may take it for granted, but the unique details that brought you to this point will differentiate you from the competition and help you have a sharper focus on what to highlight.
At BOS Media, we would love to help you create a brand strategy. But before you reach out to us, start with someone even more important: YOU. Our hope is that you don’t just go to work and do a monotonous job day after day – remember who you are! The more you stay aligned to that, the more other people will be inspired to join in and do business with you.
I hope that subject line got your attention, because there are way too many companies out there who have the wrong idea about this. In fact, many of them would finish the sentence:
Your logo doesn’t matter unless it’s BIG!
They think putting their logo on the side of a building will make it significant.
But there is a much more important question that we need to be asking:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
If you don’t know the answer to that, it doesn’t matter how huge your logo is. The branding that truly resonates with people has a lot more substance underneath it.
It reminds me of a podcast that we did a while back [Brands are the new human]. We talked about one of the most important questions that will help differentiate your business from anyone else:
“What problem are you solving?”
The more you understand this, the more it drives everything you communicate.
I know we keep coming back to this, but I’ll say it again:
Your brand is not what YOU say it is,
it’s what THEY say it is.
- What do others feel about my company?
- What do others say my company is about?
- What problem am I solving for them?
This might sound cheesy, but seriously: once you’re solving problems for your customers, your logo size will increase in the place that matters most: IN THEIR HEARTS.
So please, stop trying to make it BIGGER, or prettier, or bolder. Dive deeper into what your company represents. The logo that has a PURPOSE behind it will resonate the most.
Your logo doesn’t really matter – unless it means something.
If you still want to make it bigger, I guess we can help you find a skyscraper. But if you want to MAKE IT MATTER, give us a call, we’d love to work with you.
I get this question a lot… “What’s the difference between BRANDING and a LOGO?” I wanted to clarify it a bit for you.
As we said last time, a logo is a symbol for your brand. It can help people to remember you, using images, text, shapes, or a combination of all of those to depict the name and purpose of your business. BUT it should be more than just a way to identify you.
If you do it right, it can capture the whole story of your company in a meaningful way.
That’s all great, but one thing I’ve learned from the internet: if you really want people to hear what you have to say, it’s gotta be in a TOP 5 LIST. OK – you asked for it:
Top 5 Things a Logo can do for you:
- Creates a positive first impression
- Gives you a brand identity
- Helps you stick out from competitors
- Fosters brand loyalty
- Makes you memorable
Now that you know why it’s valuable, what are the key elements of a logo? Here you go!
Top 5 Elements of a Logo:
- Color – like the visual mood music of a logo.
- Typography – a fancy designer way of saying “font.”
- Image – as the saying goes, a picture is less boring than 1000 words.
- Tagline – “Your slogan can change everything.” (according to people who write slogans).
- Meaning – Hopefully all of the above reflects some deeper values of your company that will resonate with your target audience.
Awesome example: the Nike swoosh. When you see it, you don’t just think of Nike – you think of the grit and determination required to JUST DO IT (side note: if you haven’t seen this, it’s one of the best commercials ever)
One last question – how can we make a logo stand out? Yep, we’ve got a top-5 list for that too! Coming in at number 3 on our list of Logo-Related Top 5 lists…
Top 5 Ways to Make your Logo Stand Out:
- Know your Audience – once again, branding is not what YOU say, it’s what THEY say.
- Be Clear – don’t be like those weird personalized license plates that no one understands.
- Be Unique – “You are totally unique, just like everyone else.” –Margaret Mead
- Be Versatile – Scalable across any newfangled social media platform.
- Last but not least: Be in touch with BOS Media Group.
The truth is, there are a ton of variables in the creative process, and it can all feel pretty subjective. Plus remember, the logo is just a small part in the big picture of your overall branding. If you think your branding and logo design could use a makeover, we would love to support you however we can – give us a call today!
Hope your week was amazing! Mine? Well, while other people may have spent last weekend enjoying a BBQ, or watching Netflix, I was doing a deep dive on BRANDING. Most companies don’t realize how important branding can be for their business, but don’t worry – we are here to pass that knowledge on to you.
The first thing you need to know is, there are a lot of misconceptions about branding. So let’s start with what branding isn’t:
- Branding is NOT a LOGO. That’s just a symbol of the brand.
- Branding is NOT a TAG LINE. Although those can help make a brand memorable.
- Branding is NOT a PRODUCT. There are lots of products – branding is what makes someone pick one product over the other.
We all want a well-defined, attractive brand, but the biggest thing I learned is:
Your brand is not what YOU say it is,
it’s what THEY say it is.
Branding is the gut feeling someone gets when they think about your company. It’s your business’s reputation that lives in the hearts and minds of your potential customers.
People experience the reliability of your products, or whether a service interaction was pleasant, and little by little it all shapes the picture they have of you in their minds. This is why branding matters – because ultimately, whether or not people choose to do business with you is based on one thing:
So, how do you build a successful brand for your company? Great question. It starts with a strategy to map out how you are different, how you are trustworthy, how you are memorable, and how you are likable by your ideal client. This is critical and foundational for building a successful brand. Do not overlook this and just jump into design and marketing.
Maybe it’s time to start thinking through what your current branding is saying to your clients. Take a minute to brainstorm some ideas about what you want to come to mind when people think about your company. Here are some questions to consider:
- Why do you exist?
- What makes you different?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why should people care?
Let’s start there, I will send out some more information next week. Until then, I hope you can start taking a step back and looking at your company from a different perspective…to see your customer’s point of view.
Let me know if you have any questions, I would love to dialog with you more
“Hey, it’s my birthday and I am getting a tattoo of a Suzuki Logo on my arm!” – said no one, ever!
I can’t believe it’s already been three years since my new adventures of entrepreneurship. For me, it’s about no more bosses, no more vacation request forms, no more phone calls explaining why I’ll be late coming in and no more working twice as hard just to be under-valued and unappreciated…
But freedom from the 9-5 also comes with a price. How about a 60-80 hour work week with no guaranteed overtime pay? How about living with a constant reminder that the next paycheck has to be fought for and won? How about your weekends and vacation time with your laptop fully charged looking for the nearest wifi to respond with project updates? There are pros and cons to every road you take and rewards and suffering with each path you choose. Each decision can result in self doubt and envy of the “grass being greener on the other side”.
Whether you are a 9-5’r or an entrepreneur, the most important aspect of your own health, happiness and fulfillment depends on your purpose and your “why”.
Ok, if you just read through that without any reaction or your heart pounding, you didn’t read it right. So, I’ll say it again…Your own health, happiness and fulfillment depends on your PURPOSE! I heard this next quote a long time ago when I was in high school and I’ll never forget it. “Living without a purpose is worse than not living at all.”
The purpose of any business should be to help change people, to help change them from one thing to something else. You can help change people from being unsatisfied, unfocused and unmotivated to thriving, adventurous and passionate people living out their full dream.
Great example of this is Harley Davidson. They helped satisfy the craving of the overworked and stressed out successful businessman who yearned for a safe rebellion, new adventure and the promise of the open road. So much so that consumers of Harley Davidson were even willing to get a permanent tattoo of the logo that got them there.
“If all you want is transport, buy a Suzuki, no one gets a Suzuki tattoo.” -Seth Godin
The problem is that we (me included) lose our focus and our purpose in the midst of running and operating our business. The day to day of putting out the fires, trying to satisfy every client and the constant hustle for our next project can wear you down. We must learn to step back and remind ourselves why we do what we do. What is our purpose? How are we helping change others? So, here’s me stepping back and reminding myself why I do what I do…
I help people reach their dream. We all have dreams, we just don’t know all the steps to get there. Most people get stuck and stop moving forward in their dream because they run into a technical difficulty…how do I create a brand? What about a website? How do I communicate my dream and broadcast it to the world? How do I get people to know me and my new business so I can help them? These are the questions that I can help answer and help implement so that you can continue on in reaching your dream.
So, what is your dream? What is your purpose or your “why” in that dream that you have? How will this dream help others? What steps will you take in fulfilling it? People instinctively look for meaning; they look for something to believe in and rally around. In a world where most businesses focus only on growth and sales, the opportunity to serve people on a deeper level is wide open. The results can be amazing! And yes, growth and sales often follow suit.
Whatever your dream is, I hope it leads to a permanent mark on the people that you will serve…a tattoo perhaps. LOL.